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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Semen handling in South American camelids: state of the art

Morrell, Jane; Abraham, Maria Celina


Reproductive biotechnologies such as artificial insemination could be very useful for South American camelids, allowing widespread use of semen from breeding males with desirable genetics. However, artificial insemination is not widely employed in these species and is considered to have low overall efficiency. This is due in part to incomplete knowledge about the physiology of conception in these species, and also to challenges presented by semen collection and handling. Several recent reviews have centered on female camelid reproduction; therefore, in this review, the focus is on semen handling. Various semen collection methods are presented. Different methods of reducing seminal viscosity are compared, such as needling, enzyme treatment, and colloid centrifugation. Use of enzymes remains controversial because of widely differing results among research groups. Colloid centrifugation, particularly single layer centrifugation, has proved to be successful in facilitating development of sperm handling techniques in dromedary camels, and has also been used with llama semen. Therefore, protocols for colloid centrifugation of alpaca semen could be developed in the future.


viscous seminal plasma; ovulation inducing factor; dribble ejaculators; single layer centrifugation; epididymal spermatozoa; sperm preservation

Published in

Frontiers in Veterinary Science
2020, Volume: 7, article number: 586858

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      Clinical Science

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