We developed methods for the cryopreservation of sperm of the endangered Colorado pikeminnow Ptychocheilus lucius. Sperm were collected from a captive broodstock population of Colorado pikeminnow reared and maintained at the Dexter National Fish Hatchery and Technology Center. Our objectives were to (1) evaluate the effects on sperm motility of 24-h storage in Hanks' balanced salt solution (HBSS); (2) characterize sperm motility and duration; (3) examine the relationship between sperm motility and osmotic pressure; (4) examine the effect of four cryoprotectants (dimethyl sulfoxide [DMSO], dimethyl acetamide [DMA], glycerol, and methanol [MeOH] at two concentrations [5% and 10%]) on postthaw motility; and (5) compare the effect of two cooling rates (40??C/ min and 4??C/min) on postthaw motility. The sperm samples diluted with HBSS retained higher motility (mean ??SD, 77 ?? 22%; n = 9) than did undiluted samples (12 ?? 30%; n = 9) after 24 h of storage. When exposed to HBSS at 274 mosmols/kg or more, few sperm became motile (???1%). Exposure to HBSS at 265 mosmols/kg elicited threshold activation (defined as 10% motility), and maximum motility (>95%) was observed at 93 mosmols/ kg. The maximum motility of sperm was observed within 10 s after activation with deionized water, and sperm remained motile for 57 s. The sperm that were cooled at a rate of 40??C/min and cryopreserved with 5% MeOH retained higher postthaw motility (56 ?? 13%) than did sperm cryopreserved with DMSO, DMA, or glycerol (at 5% and 10%). When the sperm samples were cooled at a rate of 4??C/min, sperm cryopreserved with MeOH (5% or 10%) or DMSO (5% or 10%) retained the highest postthaw motilities (???14%). The use of cryopreserved sperm can assist hatchery managers in the production of fish, provide for the long-term conservation of genetic resources, and assist in the recovery of endangered species such as the Colorado pikeminnow.
Additional publication details
Cryopreservation of Sperm from the Endangered Colorado Pikeminnow