Boar sperm thawing practices: the number of straws does matter.
Casas I., Torner E., Yeste M., Bonet S.
The number of straws thawed has been largely neglected in reports of boar sperm cryopreservation. Whereas previous studies confirm the effect of sperm concentration on function and survival of thawed boar spermatozoa, it is still unknown whether, for a same concentration, total number of sperm in the thawing solution affects its mechanics. The present trial sought to define good boar sperm thawing practices by checking if a minimal number of straws as well as the percentage of air volume in the thawing tube should be stated or not to decrease variability from one trial to another. In a first assay, three tubes with different numbers of thawed straws were compared in terms of motility and membrane integrity: control (C, four straws), T1.1 (two straws), and T1.2 (one straw). In a second parallel assay, the sperm motility was evaluated when one straw was thawed in a tube containing 86.67% of air volume (T2.1), and when the tube contained < 1% air volume (T2.2). In all treatments the final concentration of sperm in Beltsville thawing solution (BTS) was 1:3 (v:v) and quality parameters were assessed 4 h after thawing. Results showed the number of straws does affect motility parameters but not the membrane integrity, whereas less air volume in the tube nonsignificantly minimizes data deviation among replicates. In conclusion, it is recommended the use of four straws at 1:3 (v:v) to maintain motility records in boar sperm thawing practices as well as to be provided with vials that fit the sperm volume.