Poultry Sciences

Research title:

Sperm cryopreservation procedures for ex situ in vitro conservation of avian genetic resources

Tutor: Prof. Silvia Cerolini

Contact details

Silvia Cerolini

Dipartimento di Medicina Veterinaria

Via Trentacoste 2, Milano

e-mail  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

tel: 0250315747

State of the art

spermDespite many years of researches in different avian species, sperm survival after freezing/thawing procedures remains highly variable. Recent reviews still confirm the occurrence of significant loss of fertilizing potential in cryopreserved avian sperm and further studies on improving relative sperm fertility, dependent by sperm quality, and fertility duration after freezing are suggested.cryo
Semen processing for cryopreservation involves several steps and each one affects sperm integrity and functions; moreover, sperm sensitivity to cryopreservation is highly variable between avian species (turkeys more sensitive than chickens) and between breeds/lines within species.
The choice of the cryoprotectant (CP) is certainly among the most important factors for an effective freezing protocol. All CPs are effective in the prevention of ice crystal formation, even if with different mechanisms of actio. Permeant (P) CPs affect membrane fluidity and partially dehydrate the cell, whereas non permeant (NP) CPs affect osmotic pressure within the medium. In birds, research has focused almost exclusively on P CPs, mainly glycerol and dimethylacetamide; in contrast in several mammals, both P and NP CPs were studied and the association of both compounds was found to be effective in improving sperm cryosurvival.

Aims of the project

The aim is to develop research activities to improve the cryopreservation technology for chicken and turkey semen in order to reduce cryoinjuries during in vitro processing and improve sperm integrity and fertility after freezing/thawing.
polliThe association of P and NP CPs is suggested as a new cryopreservation strategy and will be studied in both avian species. The effect of NP CPs, such as sucrose, trehalose and Ficoll, alone and in combination with the P CP dimethylacetamide will be studied. The effect of CPs will be assessed measuring sperm quality, functions, composition and integrity.
The improved cryopreservation procedures will be implemented to assess the sensitivity to sperm cryopreservation within and between Italian poultry breeds.




Recent publications of the tutor in the field

1. Madeddu M, Mosca F, Abdel Sayed A, Zaniboni L, Mangiagalli MG, Colombo E, Cerolini S (2016) Effect of cooling rate on the survival of cryopreserved rooster sperm: Comparison of different distances in the vapor above the surface of the liquid nitrogen. Animal Reproduction Science, 171: 58-64.

2. Mosca F, Madeddu M, Sayed AA, Zaniboni L, Iaffaldano N, Cerolini S (2016) Combined effect of permeant and non-permeant cryoprotectants on the quality of frozen/thawed chicken sperm. Cryobiology, 73(3): 343-347.

3. Mosca F, Madeddu M, Sayed AA, Zaniboni L, Iaffaldano N, Cerolini S (2016) Data on the positive synergic action
of dimethylacetamide and trehalose on quality of cryopreserved chicken sperm. Cryobiology Data in Brief, 9: 1118-1121.

4. Iaffaldano I, Di Iorio M, Miranda M, Zaniboni L, Manchisi A, Cerolini S (2016) Cryopreserving turkey semen in straws and nitrogen vapor using DMSO or DMA: effects of cryoprotectant concentration, freezing rate and thawing rate on post-thaw semen quality. British Poultry Science, 57 (2): 264-270.

5. Iaffaldano N, Di Iorio M, Cerolini S, Manchisi A (2016) Overview of turkey semen storage: focus on cryopreservation. Annals of Animal Science, DOI: 10.1515/aoas-2016-0026.