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Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Variation among stallions in sperm quality after single layer centrifugation

Al-Kass, Ziyad; Brown, Alexander; Johannisson, Anders; Ntallaris, Theodoros; Morrell, Jane M.


Although single layer centrifugation (SLC) selects robust spermatozoa from stallion semen, the effect of individual variation has not been studied in detail. The objective of this study was to determine the variation among stallions in the effects of SLC on sperm quality during cooled storage for up to 48 hr. Semen samples from seven stallions (18 ejaculates) were split, with one portion being used for SLC and the other serving as a control (CON). Sperm quality (kinematics, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, membrane integrity (MI) and chromatin integrity) were analysed at 0, 24 and 48 hr using computer-assisted sperm analysis and flow cytometry. Sperm quality was better in SLC than in CON at all timepoints, especially chromatin integrity and MI (p < .0001 for both), and some categories of ROS production (e.g. proportion of live hydrogen peroxide negative spermatozoa, p < .0001), but the degree of improvement varied among stallions and type of ROS (p p < .0001). Total and progressive motility were also better in SLC samples than in CON at 24 and 48 hr (p < .0001), although the effect on sperm kinematics varied. The interaction of treatment, time and stallion was not significant. In conclusion, sperm quality was better in SLC samples than in CON, although there was considerable individual variation among stallions. The improvement in sperm quality, particularly in chromatin integrity, was clearly beneficial, and therefore the use of this technique would be warranted for all stallion semen samples.


DNA fragmentation; equine semen; liquid stallion semen; semen evaluation; stored stallion sperm samples

Published in

Reproduction in Domestic Animals
2021, Volume: 56, number: 6, pages: 848-856