Abstract #190

Section: Sexing
Session: Sexing
Format: Poster
Location: Rio Exhibit Hall B
# 190
R. W. Lenz1, C. Gonzalez-Marin1, T. B. Gilligan1, J. M. DeJarnette2, M. D. Utt2, L. A. Helser2, E. Hasenpusch3, K. M. Evans1, J. F. Moreno1, R. Vishwanath*1, 1Sexing Technologies, Navasota, TX, USA;, 2Select Sires Inc, Plain City, OH, USA;, 3German Genetics International GmbH, Cloppenbury, Germany.

The gap in fertility between conventional and sex-sorted bovine sperm, known to be on the order of 10 percentage points, has never been bridged, even by increasing the number of sex-sorted sperm per inseminate. A concerted effort in the last few years has resulted in substantial changes in all stages of the sex-sorting process to develop an improved sex-sorted product called SexedULTRA™ (Sexing Technologies, Navasota, TX, USA). In vitro tests show that SexedULTRA™ maintained sperm integrity better than the previous XY method, and field trials were conducted to determine if this translated into improved bovine field fertility. The initial field trial was performed using ejaculates from 8 Holstein bulls located at Select Sires in Plain City (OH, USA). Each ejaculate was split in 2 aliquots that were then processed following the 2 methods (XY method or SexedULTRA™). A total of 6,930 Holstein heifers were inseminated across 41 commercial herds in the United States. Conception rate data were analysed using mixed model ANOVA (JMP 10.0.0; SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC) with fixed effects of treatment, bull, bull by treatment interaction, and the random effect of herd. Sex-sorted bull sperm following the SexedULTRA™ method resulted in a greater (P < 0.001) conception rate compared with the XY method sperm (45.7 ± 1.7 v. 41.2 ± 1.6%). This is the first report of an improvement in conception rates using sex-sorted bovine semen in a decade since it became commercially available. A second field trial to investigate dose rate effects and compare against conventional semen was performed using 5 dairy bulls located at German Genetics International GmbH in Cloppenburg (Germany). Each ejaculate was split 4 ways, sex-sorted, and frozen in 0.25-mL straws as follows: XY 2.1 million/straw, SexedULTRA™ 2.1 million/straw, SexedULTRA™ 3.0 million/straw, and SexedULTRA™ 4.0 million/straw. A total of 7,855 heifers were inseminated with these sex-sorted straws, whereas 62,398 heifers were inseminated with conventional straws (15 million/straw) produced using contemporary ejaculates from the same bulls. The 56-day nonreturn rate was calculated by sire and treatment combination, and assigned a weight based on the total number of AI for each combination thereof. Table 1 contains the nonreturn rate weighted means and the relative fertility compared to conventional sperm. Data were analysed using a mixed model ANOVA (JMP 10.0.0; SAS Institute Inc.) with treatment and bull as fixed effects. SexedULTRA™ 4.0 sperm presented the greatest (P < 0.001) 56-day nonreturn rate followed by conventional 15.0 (66.73 v. 65.66%); XY 2.1 presented the lowest (P < 0.001) nonreturn rate. This is the first time a dose response effect with sex-sorted bovine sperm and parity in conception rates with conventional semen has been demonstrated. Table 1. Field trial results for number of inseminations, 56-day nonreturn rate (NRR) weighted means, and relative fertility1 compared with conventional sperm
TreatmentNo. ofinseminations56-day NRR weightedmeans (%)Relative fertility (%)
XY 2.11,95355.89C85
SexedULTRA™ 2.11,99959.95B91
SexedULTRA™ 3.02,01360.02B91
SexedULTRA™ 4.01,89066.73A102
Conventional 15.062,39865.66A
A–CNRR with different superscripts are significantly different (P < 0.01). 1Relative fertility was measured as a comparison of NRR against conventional