- Semen preservation and artificial insemination in South American camelids are reviewed giving emphasis to work done in Peru and by the authors. Reports on semen evaluation and the preservation process indicate that semen of alpacas and llamas can be manipulated by making it liquid first. Collagenase appears to be the best enzyme to eliminate viscosity. Tris buffer solution maintains a higher motility than egg-yolk citrate, phosphate buffered saline (PBS), Triladyl, and Merck-I extenders. Cooling of semen took 1h after collected, and equilibrated with 7% glycerol presented a better motility and spermatozoa survival at 1,7,15 and 30 days after being slowly frozen in 0.25mL plastic straws. Trials of artificial insemination with freshly diluted semen and frozen–thawed semen are encouraging and needs to be tested extensively under field conditions. Recently, fertility rates varied from 3 to 67%. Semen preservation and most important, artificial insemination appear to be a reality, and could be used to improve the genetic quality of alpacas and llamas.
- Semen characteristics of alpacas were studied after repeated collections. Twelve adult males were divided into three groups of four each for semen collection once, twice, or three times every other day. The duration of copulation; volume of ejaculate; pH; motility; sperm concentration (number of sperm/milliliter semen); total number of sperm per ejaculate; and percentages of live, normal, and abnormal spermatozoa were analyzed by regression analysis. Semen color and consistency were analyzed by the chi-square test. Between the first, second, and third ejaculations, there were differences (p < 0.05) in sperm concentration; percentages of normal spermatozoa and abnormal spermatozoa; sperm with abnormal heads and abnormal tails; and consistency (viscous, viscous, and semi-viscous). There were no differences (p > 0.05) in ejaculated volume, percentage of live spermatozoa, pH, percentage of cytoplasmic droplets, and duration of copulation. Some males from which semen was collected on the three-mating schedule ejaculated only seminal plasma during the second and third copulation starting on Day 10 of the study. There were differences between males (p < 0.05) for most of the characteristics studied. In sum, frequency of mating affected some semen characteristics that may be important determinants of the fertility of male alpacas.
- Degelification of highly viscous alpaca semen was attempted using two enzymes: trypsin and collagenase. Dilution effect on artificial insemination was determined in alpacas. Semen from 4 male alpacas was collected, degelified, diluted, and inseminated into 80 female alpacas. Degelification was achieved adding trypsin and collagenase enzymes to fresh semen samples. Semen was diluted with egg-yolk glucose citrate to give concentrations of 4, 8, and 12 million spermatozoa/mL. Females were induced to ovulate with human chorionic gonadotropin and then inseminated deep into the uterine horns. Analysis of variance was used to determine differences in the effect of trypsin and collagenase on sperm acrosome and on motility and live spermatozoa. The chi-square test was used to determine differences in pregnancy of artificially inseminated females. Semen was degelified with different concentrations of trypsin and collagenase. There were differences (p< .05) in the pregnancy rate of female alpacas inseminated with 4 million (53.3%), 8 million (66.7%), and 12 million sperm/mL (61.5%). Alpaca semen may be degelified using trypsin and/or collagenase. It seems that 8 million sperm/mL is adequate for artificial insemination in alpacas.
- Aim: To evaluate two extenders and two cryoprotectant agents (CPA) for alpaca semen cryopreservation. Methods: Semen samples were obtained from four adult alpacas (Lamapacos) and frozen using extender I (TRIS, citrate, egg yolk and glucose) or extender II (skim milk, egg yolk and fructose), each containing either glycerol (G) or ethylene glycol (EG) as CPA. Consequently, four groups were formed: 1) extender I‐G; 2) extender I‐EG; 3) extender II‐G; and 4) extender II‐EG. Semen was diluted in a two‐step process: for cooling to 5 °C (extenders without CPA), and for freezing (extenders with CPA). Viability and acrosome integrity were assessed using trypan blue and Giemsa stains. Results: When compared, the motility after thawing was higher (P < 0.05) in groups II‐EG (20.0 %± 6.7 %) and II‐G (15.3 %± 4.1 %) than that in groups I‐G (4.0 %± 1.1 %) and I‐EG (1.0 %± 1.4 %). Viable spermatozoa with intact acrosomes in groups II‐EG (18.7 %± 2.9 %) and II‐G (12.7 %± 5.9 %) were higher than that in groups I‐G (5.7 %± 1.5 %) and I‐EG (4.0 %±1.0 %). Conclusion: The skim milk‐ and egg yolk‐based extenders containing ethylene glycol or glycerol to freeze alpaca semen seems to promote the survival of more sperm cells with intact acrosomes than the other extenders.
- We have recently reported the presence of an ovulation-inducing factor (OIF) in the seminal plasma of llamas and alpacas—species characterized as induced ovulators. The study was designed to test the hypothesis that the seminal plasma of bulls will induce ovulation in llamas, and to compare the ovulation-inducing effect of seminal plasma of conspecific versus hetero-specific males. The seminal plasma of alpacas, a closely related induced ovulator (Lama pacos), and cattle, a distantly related ruminant species (Bos taurus) considered to be spontaneous ovulators, were compared with that of the llama (Lama glama). Ovulation and maximum corpus luteum diameter were compared by ultrasonography among female llamas (n = 19 per group) treated intramuscularly with 2 mL of phosphate buffered saline (PBS, negative control) and those treated with 2 mL of seminal plasma of bulls, alpacas, or llamas (conspecific control). The diameter of the preovulatory follicle did not differ among groups at the time of treatment. Bull seminal plasma induced ovulations in 26% (5/19) of llamas compared to 0% (0/19) in PBS group (P