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Birth of Kids After Artificial Insemination with Sex-Sorted, Frozen-Thawed Goat Spermatozoa



Successful sex-sorting of goat spermatozoa and subsequent birth of pre-sexed kids have yet to be reported. As such, a series of experiments were conducted to develop protocols for sperm-sorting (using a modified flow cytometer, MoFlo SX®) and cryopreservation of goat spermatozoa. Saanen goat spermatozoa (n = 2 males) were (i) collected into Salamon's or Tris catch media post-sorting and (ii) frozen in Tris–citrate–glucose media supplemented with 5, 10 or 20% egg yolk in (iii) 0.25 ml pellets on dry ice or 0.25 ml straws in a controlled-rate freezer. Post-sort and post-thaw sperm quality were assessed by motility (CASA), viability and acrosome integrity (PI/FITC-PNA). Sex-sorted goat spermatozoa frozen in pellets displayed significantly higher post-thaw motility and viability than spermatozoa frozen in straws. Catch media and differing egg yolk concentration had no effect on the sperm parameters tested. The in vitro and in vivo fertility of sex-sorted goat spermatozoa produced with this optimum protocol were then tested by means of a heterologous ova binding assay and intrauterine artificial insemination of Saanen goat does, respectively. Sex-sorted goat spermatozoa bound to sheep ova zona pellucidae in similar numbers (p > 0.05) to non-sorted goat spermatozoa, non-sorted ram spermatozoa and sex-sorted ram spermatozoa. Following intrauterine artificial insemination with sex-sorted spermatozoa, 38% (5/13) of does kidded with 83% (3/5) of kids being of the expected sex. Does inseminated with non-sorted spermatozoa achieved a 50% (3/6) kidding rate and a sex ratio of 3 : 1 (F : M). This study demonstrates for the first time that goat spermatozoa can be sex-sorted by flow cytometry, successfully frozen and used to produce pre-sexed kids.