IMPRESS – Improved production strategies for endangered freshwater species

Fish Sperm Assessment Using Software and Cooling Devices.

For gamete quality evaluation, there are innovative, rapid, and quantitative techniques that can provide useful data for aquaculture. Computerized systems for sperm analysis were developed to measure several parameters and one of the most commonly measured is the sperm motility. Initially, this computer technology was designed for mammalian species, although it can also be used for fish sperm analysis.

Fish have specific features that can affect sperm assessment such as a short motility time after activation and, in some cases, adaptation to lower temperatures. Thus, it is necessary to modify both software and hardware components to make motility analysis more efficient for fish sperm analysis. For mammalian sperm, the heating plate is used to maintain optimal temperatures of spermatozoa. However, for some fish species, it is advantageous to use a lower temperature to prolong the duration of motility, since the sperm remain active for less than 2 min. Therefore, cooling devices are necessary to refrigerate samples at constant temperature over the time of analysis, including on the optical microscope. This protocol describes the analysis of fish sperm motility using software for sperm analysis and new cooling devices to optimize the results.

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