Colloidal Centrifugation of Stallion Semen Results in a Reduced Rate of Sperm DNA Fragmentation


  • Correction added on May 22 2013, after first online publication: The order and affiliations of the authors have been corrected.

Author’s address (for correspondence): SD Johnston, School of Agriculture and Food Science, University of Queensland, Gatton, Qld 4343, Australia. E-mail:


Stallion spermatozoa recovered and examined immediately after colloidal centrifugation resulted in a higher straight-line velocity (VSL) than sperm processed using direct conventional centrifugation (p = 0.000), but there was no differences in the progressive motility or sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF) as determined by the sperm chromatin dispersion assay. However, when centrifuged spermatozoa were incubated at 37°C for 24 h to determine the rate of SDF (r-SDF), a lower r-SDF (p = 0.0011) was observed in those sperm recovered after colloidal separation (0.5 ± 0.1%/h) compared to direct (1.2 ± 0.4%/h) or no centrifugation (r-SDF  =  1.2  ± 0.3%/h). These results confirm that colloidal separation of stallion spermatozoa results in prolonged sperm DNA longevity, but these differences were only apparent following a period of incubation and dynamic assessment. Consequently, we strongly recommend the use of the dynamic form of the SDF assay for evaluating centrifugation and/or other ex vivo procedures, as a single basal assessment of SDF may inadvertently result in a false-positive evaluation of DNA quality.