Application and commercialization of flow cytometrically sex-sorted semen

Rath, Detlef GND; Johnson, L.A.

The current technology to sort X and Y chromosome bearing sperm population requires individual identification and selection of spermatozoa in a modified high-speed flow cytometer. For farm animal species, the technology is capable of producing sexed sperm at greater than 90% purity. However, only in the bovine, the technology has reached a developmental level that allows its commercial application. Meanwhile, the demand for female calves has grown rapidly, which encourages the demand for sex-sorted semen from high genetic value bulls. The success of the technology will depend mainly on the fertilizing capacity of the sorted spermatozoa, as this is the most affecting and economically relevant factor. To date, fertility is still variable and is quite dependant on post-sort processing. New processing techniques are under investigation and will likely be able to improve the fertility rates after AI with sex-sorted semen. It is of great importance to select the right bulls and to test the sorted samples on a routine basis. In addition to the demand for sex-sorted semen by the cattle industry, there is also a significant demand expressed by pig farmers. However, it is still unknown if the use of sex-sorted semen through commercial pig AI will be economically feasible. For the pig, the combination of in vitro fertilization with sexed semen and non-surgical embryo transfer is an alternative that merits further scientific attention. Recent developments in ovine AI and ET will make it very likely that commercial sheep industry will adopt the sexing technology in their breeding concepts

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Rath, Detlef / Johnson, L.A.: Application and commercialization of flow cytometrically sex-sorted semen. 2008.

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