Advances in Cryopreservation of Buffalo Semen

The domestic buffalo, also known as the Indian river and dairy buffalo, originates from the Indian subcontinent—India, Pakistan, and further west to the Balkans, Egypt, Italy, and Mediterranean countries. While the swamp buffalo originates from Southeast Asia and China, both buffalo types are found in Australia, North and South America, Europe, and African countries. The two existing types of buffalo are recognized based on morphological features of the chromosome. The river buffalo type has 2n = 50 chromosomes and the swamp buffalo type has 2n = 48. These two types produce a hybrid buffalo with 2n = 49 chromosomes. This hybrid can be crossed with a river or swamp buffalo resulting in a product with 2n = 48 or 2n = 50 chromosomes that receives the normal number of chromosomes characteristic of a dairy type. According to FAO, the estimated global population of water buffalo is more than 230 million, distributed in more than 50 countries. Interestingly, the population continues to grow and reminds us of the famous first line of the textbook The Husbandry and Health of the Domestic Buffalo written by Cockrill (1974). It was that “among the animals which science has neglected the domestic water buffalo serves as an outstanding example.” Nowadays, buffaloes are recognized in many countries because of their dairy products such as milk, mozzarella, burrata, and other high-quality cheeses. There is also an increasing demand for buffalo meat, which has transformed India (2016) into the world’s largest exporter of buffalo meat, with annual exports equal to US$4 billion. Besides the meat exports, another major contribution of buffalo in the world market from India is leather. A significant proportion of buffalo heads used for hiding in small industries generates employment opportunities for millions of people. In addition, this animal plays a role in the draft, manure, religious rituals, entertainment, and sports. Therefore, buffalo farming is an emerging economic activity.

Thus, this chapter aims to analyze some concepts on reproductive management, semen evaluation and cryopreservation for male buffalo. Also, to point out how to use the reproductive potential of genetically elite males for the genetic improvement of this species.


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