Nav: Home

Researchers develop technology to determine animal male sex selection

January 06, 2016

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) researchers have developed a low cost technology related to sex select semen that can be used with artificial insemination in animals.

Samuel Prien, Ph.D., and Lindsay Penrose, Ph.D., both with the TTUHSC Department of Ob/Gyn, completed their research, "A Prepatory Technique for Semen Selection." By developing a method to chemically attract the sperm to what is a favorable environment, the research found conception of a male could be as high as 72 percent.

"We provide sperm with numerous environmental choices at the same time," Prien said. "By providing a chemical trail for the cell to follow, it can biochemically select its preferred environment. The technology uses simple chemical properties to affect sperm movement allowing separation of X and Y type sperm for insemination in animals."

Cytometric sorting, the current available, yet expensive, technology can be used to separate sperm based on sex chromosome content. Penrose said by using chemotaxis, the researchers targeted the cells by allowing the sperm to follow a chemical trail. During chemotaxis, cells move in response to chemical signals.

"The course of our research allowed us to select for males first," Penrose said. "But with modification, selection for females is possible as well. We found that the cell would pick the preferred chemical pathway and follow it. Over the years, a tremendous amount of resources have been spent on searching for techniques that are practical in a wide variety of settings. Flow cytometry is one, but, it is extremely costly, and there are concerns over the safety of the procedure."

The technology has received a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for "Method and Apparatus for Gender Selection." The patent rights have been licensed to Reproductive Solutions Inc. SureBreed™ is a trademark registered to Reproductive Solutions for the commercial product they have developed that uses the patented technology.

Prien said sex selection could dramatically increase the profitability of dairies and beef cattle feeder operations by producing a higher percentage of male or female animals as desired.

"Spending for flow cytometric sorting is estimated at $140 million per year," Prien said. "This low cost sexing will make sex selection available on a much wider scale with a much larger market potential."
-end-


Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Related Sperm Articles:

New test assesses sperm function
Two new publications in the journal Molecular Reproduction and Development validate the usefulness of a test that determines if sperm can capacitate, a process that allows them to fertilize an egg.
Mystery of how sperm swim revealed in mathematical formula
Researchers have developed a mathematical formula based on the rhythmic movement of a sperm's head and tail, which significantly reduces the complexities of understanding and predicting how sperm make the difficult journey towards fertilizing an egg.
Sperm changes documented years after chemotherapy
A Washington State University researcher has documented epigenetic changes in the sperm of men who underwent chemotherapy in their teens.
Out of gas and low on sperm?
Sperm are constantly replenished in the adult male body. Understanding the workings of stem cells responsible for this replenishment is expected to shed light on why male fertility diminishes with age, and possibly lead to new treatments for infertility.
Fish sperm race for reproductive success
Many organisms compete for access to and acceptance by mates.
More Sperm News and Sperm Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#534 Bacteria are Coming for Your OJ
What makes breakfast, breakfast? Well, according to every movie and TV show we've ever seen, a big glass of orange juice is basically required. But our morning grapefruit might be in danger. Why? Citrus greening, a bacteria carried by a bug, has infected 90% of the citrus groves in Florida. It's coming for your OJ. We'll talk with University of Maryland plant virologist Anne Simon about ways to stop the citrus killer, and with science writer and journalist Maryn McKenna about why throwing antibiotics at the problem is probably not the solution. Related links: A Review of the Citrus Greening...