The importance of semen extenders for optimal semen preservation

May 18, 2023

Semen preservation is a set of techniques and procedures used to preserve sperm for later use in assisted reproduction, breeding programs, scientific research or other applications.

During the semen preservation process, sperm is extracted from the animal and its quality is evaluated: from its motility and morphology to its vitality. The sperm is then diluted in a specific sperm extender to protect it during storage and guarantee its fertilizing capacity for longer. During this process, maintaining the vitality of the membrane and the integrity of the acrosome are the key factors that determine optimal semen preservation.

Membrane vitality and acrosome integrity: key players in porcine seminal preservation

When it comes to animal reproduction, seminal quality is critical to reproductive success. In this sense, the cell membrane is essential to protect the sperm from adverse environmental conditions and to maintain cell homeostasis. Therefore, protecting the membrane from microorganisms and different types of stress such as thermal or transport stress is key to the whole process.

In the specific case of boars, the sperm membrane is composed of several layers, each with specific functions.

The outermost layer of the sperm cell membrane is known as the plasma membrane, which is composed mainly of phospholipids and proteins. This layer is important for protecting the internal structure of the spermatozoon and regulating the entry and exit of substances from the cell.

Beneath the plasma membrane is a thick, tough layer called the acrosome, which contains enzymes essential for the penetration of the sperm into the egg during fertilization. During fertilization, these enzymes help the sperm penetrate the egg membrane to unite with its nucleus and fuse, giving rise to the embryo.

In the case of boars, the acrosome is particularly important because the membrane of the sow egg is very thick and tough, making sperm penetration a complex and difficult process.

Porcine semen extenders that maintain the fertilizing capacity of sperm for a longer period of time

Sperm extender is an essential part of the porcine seminal preservation process since it allows maintaining the adequate conditions for the survival and preservation of sperm quality during storage and transport. One of the most important functions of any extender is to inhibit the growth of microorganisms, which can directly damage the spermatozoa, compete with them for the energy available in the medium, and even affect the female after insemination.

ARQUIMEA Agrotech has developed a range of differential porcine diluents that maintain the vitality of the membrane and the integrity of the acrosome, guaranteeing the fertilizing capacity of the sperm for a longer period. We have more than 20 years of experience in the manufacture of semen extenders, and we invest in R&D, in collaboration with INIA, CSIC, or the Complutense University, to improve our formula every year.

Among our porcine semen extenders, ACROMAX PLUS stands out for its action for more than 7 days, protecting the structure of the sperm membrane after dilution, facilitating the transport of semen, and favoring the fertilizing capacity of the spermatozoa for long periods of time and with a high yield.

We also have EOBOS®, a semen extender for porcine semen, of medium durability, which maintains semen doses for 4 to 5 days without altering semen quality, and BTS, which protects the structure of the sperm membrane for 1 to 3 days.