Date of Graduation

Spring 2015


Master of Natural and Applied Science in Agriculture


College of Agriculture

Committee Chair

Gary Webb


stallion, spermatozoa, carnitine, flow cytometer, semen extenders

Subject Categories



Spermatozoa survivability is of utmost importance in delivering equine semen for artificial insemination. Semen extender supplementation may allow for increased survivability. L-carnitine (CARN) has been studied for its role in the mobilization of fatty acids. Two experiments (EX1/EX2) assessed the effects of CARN and pyruvate (P) on spermatozoa survival. Total (TM) and progressive motility (PM), velocity and direction of movement (VAP, VSL, VCL, and elongation) were assessed by CASA, membrane status (SYBR 14/PI stains) and acrosome status (FITC-PSA stain) by flow cytometer. In EX1, 4 ejaculates were collected from 2 stallions. Aliquots were diluted in skim-milk glucose extender (SKMG) or INRA 96 (INRA) with and without CARN and P added at levels of 0.00806 g/mL and 0.0011004 g/mL. Split aliquots were placed in separate Equine Express II™ containers for CASA after 2 hours, 24 hours, and 48 hours. Flow cytometery was conducted at 24 hours. In EX 2, 4 ejaculates were collected from 3 stallions. Aliquots were diluted in SKMG, INRA, and Revolution (REV) with or without CARN+P. In EX1/EX2 dilution in INRA resulted in higher motility compared to dilution in other extenders (p<0.05). In EX1 CARN+P (p<0.01) improved TM and PM. Intact membrane percentages were higher (p<0.05) for with CARN + P (74.3% with vs. 71.7% without). In EX2 CARN+P (p<0.05) improved TM and PM and also improved (p<0.05) percentage of intact membranes (78.0% with vs. 75.0% without) and intact acrosomes (78.9% with vs. 66.2% without). In conclusion, addition of L-carnitine + pyruvate may improve multiple factors of spermatozoa survival.


© Daniel Scott Potter

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