The Effects of Equine Seminal Plasma on Asian Elephant (Elephas Maximus) Spermatozoa

Date of Graduation

Summer 2007


Master of Natural and Applied Science in Agriculture


College of Agriculture

Committee Chair

Dennis Schmitt


Seminal plasma aids in sperm maturation and transport in many species. The current method of collecting Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) semen for use in artificial insemination results an incomplete ejaculate (without dilution by accessory sex gland fluids). Evaluation of collected elephant semen shows a high percentage of bulls providing samples with less than 60% motility, with many being non-motile. Equine seminal plasma was tested as a replacement for the seminal fluids deficient in collected elephant semen. Fourteen semen samples from six bulls were collected; washed and neat aliquots of each sample treated with equine seminal plasma, TEST yolk buffer (IrvineScientific, Santa Ana, CA, U.S.A.), or a combination of both. Each treatment was assessed for total and progressive motility, viability and acrosome integrity at 0,20,40 minutes, 2, 4, and 6 hours from time of treatment. There were significant differences between treatments (P<0.010) and times (P<0.012) for all dependant variables in analyses over six hours. In the same analysis, treatments of equine seminal plasma, both centrifuged and neat, resulted in significantly lower intact membranes at all observation times (P<0.0005). Results indicate that supplementing equine seminal plasma is not an effective method of augmenting the motility of Asian Elephant semen. Future research on the constituents of a complete Asian Elephant ejaculate would be beneficial in determining what would constitute a complementary additive.


semen, low motility, equine seminal plasma, inter-species seminal plasma transfer, centrifugation, Asian elephant

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© Kristine Marie Marson