Seminal Plasma Components in Camelids and Comparisons with Other Species


Author’s address (for correspondence): Claire Kershaw-Young, Faculty of Veterinary Science, The University of Sydney, Camperdown, Sydney, NSW, Australia 2040. E-mail:


Camelid semen is characterized by a highly viscous, low-volume ejaculate with a low concentration of spermatozoa that exhibit low progressive motility. The viscous seminal plasma is currently the major impediment to the development of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) in camelids. To advance ARTs such as sperm cryopreservation and artificial insemination in camelids, it is necessary to identify the cause of the viscosity and gain an understanding of the role of seminal plasma components on sperm function and fertility. Numerous compounds and proteins have been identified as mediators of sperm function and predictors of fertility in other livestock species, and understanding the importance of specific proteins has progressed the success of ARTs in these species. Current knowledge on the components of camelid seminal plasma is outlined, together with the implications of these components for the development of ARTs in camelids. The cause of semen viscosity, as well as proteins that are present in camelid seminal plasma, is described for the first time. Seminal plasma components are compared with those of other species to hypothesize their role in sperm function and fertility.