Efficacy of short-term cold storage prior to cryopreservation of spermatozoa in a threatened lizard

Lachlan Campbell, John Clulow, Belinda Howe, Rose Upton, Sean Doody, Simon Clulow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) have a significant role to play in reptile conservation, yet are severely lacking. Previous attempts to cryopreserve spermatozoa in the threatened lizard Varanus panoptes achieved approximately 48% motile sperm post-thaw for samples frozen immediately after collection. However, the feasibility of extended cold storage before cryopreservation has not been tested. We held V. panoptes spermatozoa at either 25°C or 4°C for 8 days, assessing sperm motility at days 1, 2, 4 and 8. Subsamples were cryopreserved on days 1 and 4 following the previously reported protocol for this species. Percentage motility decreased rapidly at 25°C, but did not decrease significantly until 4 days after collection at 4°C, with >30% motility maintained after 8 days. There was no significant difference in post-thaw motility or viability of samples cryopreserved after 1 or 4 days storage at 4°C, yielding substantial results for both parameters (mean motility 23.8% and 28.1% and mean viability 50.1% and 57.5% after 1 and 4 days respectively). We demonstrate the capacity to extend sperm viability for up to 8 days in unfrozen samples and to produce acceptable post-thaw motility in samples frozen after 4 days of storage, contributing to the development of valuable ARTs for lizards and other reptiles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalReproduction, Fertility and Development
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Mar 2021

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