Low survival of cryopreserved sperm impedes the application of cryopreservation technique in spermcasting oyster species. This study developed a simple method of liquid nitrogen vapor freezing to improve post-thaw sperm survival in the spermcasting oyster Ostrea angasi. The results indicate that the permeable cryoprotectants, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), ethylene glycol (EG) and propylene glycol (PG) were non-toxic to sperm up to 20% concentration and 90 min exposure whereas methanol at 10% or higher was toxic to sperm for any exposure over 30 min. Among the treatments with permeable cryoprotectants, 15% EG produced the highest post-thaw sperm motility. Sperm motility was further improved by the addition of non-permeable cryoprotectants (trehalose and glucose), with 15% EG + 0.2 M trehalose resulting in the highest post-thaw sperm motility among all the combinations evaluated. The durations of 20, 30 and 60 min equilibrations produced a higher post-thaw sperm motility and plasma membrane integrity (PMI) than 10 min. Higher post-thaw motility and PMI were achieved by freezing sperm at the 8 cm height from the liquid nitrogen surface than at the 2, 4, 6, 10 or 12 cm height. Holding sperm for 10 min in liquid nitrogen vapor produced higher post-thaw motility and PMI than for 2, 5 or 20 min. The cryopreservation protocol developed in this study improved both post-thaw motility and PMI of O. angasi sperm at least 15% higher than those cryopreserved using programmable freezing method. Liquid nitrogen vapor freezing might have greater applicability in improving post-thaw sperm quality of spermcasting oyster species.
- Sperm survival