Evaluation of sperm quality

Sperm quality essentially determines the success of artificial insemination techniques (e.g. artificial insemination, in vitro fertilisation, ICSI). A comprehensive evaluation of semen quality is also helpful to assess the fertilizing ability of male gametes in vivo.

The following methods are basically available but partly need modifications according to the requirements of newly investigated species:

  • Evaluation of sperm morphology
  • Computer-assisted measurement of motility parameters (SpermVision)
  • Fluorescence based analysis of sperm properties (viability, membrane intactness, activity of mitochondria) and sperm function (capacitation, induction of acrosome reaction)
Non-stained elephant spermatozoa are viable and intact, dead spermatozoa are stained red by propidiumiodide, the acrosomal head region of membrane-defect spermatozoa is stained green by FITC-labeled peanut agglutinin. © K. Müller


Dr. Karin Müller

Phone: 0049 (0) 30 5168 613
E-mail: mueller@izw-berlin.de


Header photo: Pygmy hippopotamus spermatozoa are stained by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to identify which cells carry the X-chromosome and which carry the Y-chromosome. Here, X-chromosome bearing spermatozoa are labeled with Cy3, which appears pink, and Y-chromosome bearing spermatozoa are labeled with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC), which appears green. © J. Saragusty