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Wojtusik, J.; Stoops, M.A.; Roth, T.L., 2018. Comparison of soy lecithin, coconut water, and coconut milk as substitutes for egg-yolk in semen cryodiluent for black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) and Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis). Theriogenology 121: 72-77 -

Location: Captive
Subject: Reproduction
Species: All Rhino Species

Original text on this topic:
Semen cryopreservation for the black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) and Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) relies on extenders containing egg-yolk (EY). Use of such media is not ideal as inter-batch composition varies and there is risk of pathogenic contamination. The goal of this study was to test animal protein-free extenders. Semen collected via electroejaculation from 10 rhinoceros (6 black, 4 Indian) was diluted with extender containing EY, 1% or 2% soy lecithin (1%SL; 2%SL), coconut water (CW), or coconut milk (CM), cryopreserved and evaluated for sperm motility, viability, morphology, progression, and acrosomal integrity at 0, 1, 3, 6 and 24 h post-thaw. Mean ± SD fresh ejaculate motility was 84.5 ± 7.6%, progression: 3.6 ± 0.6 (scale 0–5), viability: 83.4 ± 7.1%, intact acrosomes: 71.3 ± 6.9%, and morphologically normal: 78.8 ± 13.6%. Motility and progression decreased in all groups post-thaw, were greatest in EY, and decreased over time (P ≤ 0.05). Motility and progression did not differ (P > 0.05) between 1%SL and 2%SL, but were lower (P ≤ 0.05) in CM and CW, and acrosomal integrity was higher (P ≤ 0.05) in EY, 1%SL and 2%SL than in CM and CW. Post-thaw viability was greatest in EY and 2%SL followed by 1%SL, then CM and CW (P ≤ 0.05). Morphology did not differ among treatments (P > 0.05). Morphology, acrosomal integrity, and viability were maintained over time (P > 0.05). Although some rhinoceros sperm survived cryopreservation in SL treatments, reduced post-thaw motility rendered all treatments inadequate substitutes for EY-based extenders.

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