Ejaculate Traits and Sperm Cryopreservation in the Endangered Baird's Tapir (Tapirus bairdii)

Budhan S. Pukazhenthi, Gina Della Togna, Luis Padilla, Diorene Smith, Carlos Sanchez, Katey Pelican, Oris I. Sanjur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


There is little information on the reproductive biology of the male Baird's tapir (Tapirus bairdii). In this study, we characterized the ejaculate traits and evaluated the efficacy of 2 cryodiluents on sperm cryosurvival. Ejaculates were assessed for volume, pH, sperm motility, forward progression, osmolality, sperm concentration, sperm morphology, and acrosomal integrity. For cryopreservation, ejaculates with <50% total sperm motility were washed, and sperm pellets were resuspended in either Botu-Crio (CryoVital, Grandau, Germany) or INRA 96 containing 2% egg yolk and 2.5% each of methyl-and dimethylformamide (INRA 96), and they were cryopreserved over liquid nitrogen vapor. Thawed samples were incubated in vitro (25°C) and evaluated for percent total sperm motility, forward progression, and acrosomal integrity at hourly intervals for 4 hours. Spermic ejaculates were obtained from all males, and the mean seminal volume, sperm concentration per milliliter, percent sperm motility, progressive status, and percent morphologically normal cells were 20.4 ± 4.3 mL, 101.2 ± 24.0 × 106/mL, 46.1% ± 5.0%, 2.9 ± 0.1, and 6.9% ± 1.4%, respectively. There was a positive significant correlation between percent normal sperm and animal age (r = 0.66; P < .004). Cryopreservation in either Botu-Crio or INRA 96 resulted in a decline (P<.05) in percent sperm motility and acrosomal integrity. Sperm forward progression remained unaffected immediately after thawing in INRA 96 but continued to decline over time. These results characterize, for the first time, the ejaculate traits of the tapir; demonstrate that tapir spermatozoa can be cryopreserved in diluents containing amides alone or in combination with glycerol; and provide fundamental information critical for development of assisted reproductive technologies for the Baird's tapir.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-270
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Andrology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Amides
  • Electroejaculation
  • Tapirs


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