In vitro production of bovine embryos using flow-cytometrically sexed sperm
The investigation aimed to compare the effect of fresh and frozen-thawed X and Y fractions of flow-cytometrically sorted bovine spermatozoa on in vitro fertilization of bovine in vitro matured oocytes and subsequent blastocyst development. Sperm cells sorted in MoFloSX cytometer were used either for IVF or frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen. Immature oocytes recovered from ovaries of slaughtered animals and matured in vitro in TCM-199 containing 20% estrus cow serum and additional granulosa cells were fertilized in vitro with fresh or frozen-thawed fractions of sorted sperm. Simultaneously, control, fresh or frozen/thawed sperm was used for IVF. A total number of 2712 IVM oocytes were fertilized with sorted and control sperm of 6 bulls. Embryo cleavage rates were significantly affected by bull (P<0.0001), sperm sexing (P<0.0001) and sperm freezing (P<0.01). Blastocysts development was affected by sperm freezing (P<0.04) and sperm sexing (P<0.01). The significant differences were shown between unsorted and sorted sperm, however no differences in embryo cleavage rates and blastocysts rates were observed between X- and Y-sperm fractions, both fresh and frozen/ thawed. There were significant differences in cleavage rates among fresh, control sperm (52.7%), X fraction (26.8%) and Y fraction (24.7%). Similar differences in cleavage rates were shown for frozen/thawed control sperm (52.8%), X fraction (33.9%) and Y fraction (26.2%). The female blastocysts were frozen for further transfer, while the hatched male blastocysts were analysed by PCR revealing 76.2% accuracy.
The results suggest that there were significant differences in cleavage rates and blastocyst rates due to sperm sorting in comparison to unsorted sperm and no differences between effectiveness of X and Y fractions of spermatozoa.