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Variation in lipid profiles within semen compartments - the bovine model of aging

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Recent Study Involving the SQA-Vb Automated Sperm Quality Analyzer:

Abstract: Semen lipid composition was examined in young and mature bulls. Given the specific roles of various semen compartments (i.e., seminal fluid, sperm head, and sperm tail) during fertilization, we hypothesized that altered fatty acid and cholesterol composition of a specific compartment might impair semen quality and sperm function. Semen samples were collected from five mature and five young Holstein Friesian bulls during the winter (December–January). Semen was evaluated by computerized sperm-quality analyzer for bulls and was centrifuged to separate the sperm from the seminal fluid. The sperm fraction was sonicated to separate its head and tail compartments. Cold extraction of lipids was performed, and fatty acids and cholesterol were identified and quantified by gas chromatography. Semen physiological features (concentration, motility, and progressive motility) did not differ between mature and young bulls. However, lipid composition within fractions varied between groups, with prominent impairments in the head compartment. In particular, the proportions of polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-3 fatty acids, and docosahexaenoic acid in the intact sperm; seminal fluid; and sperm head were lower in semen collected from mature bulls than in that from young bulls. The finding suggests an age-differential absorption and/or metabolism through spermatogenesis. Reduced proportions of major fatty acids in mature bulls might reduce membrane fluidity, which in turn might affect the ability to undergo cryopreservation and/or oocyte-sperm fusion through fertilization.



CECNA | Gen-Diffusion Letter of Recommendation

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

To Whom it may concern,

RE: SQA-Vb™ and B-Sperm™ Analyzer for Bulls

CECNA is a French cooperative group belonging to the Gen-Diffusion organization.  CECNA covers a total of more than 60,000 artificial inseminations annually and is also responsible  for the selection of bulls based on their genetics  and reproductive capacities (sperm quality).  CECNA is dedicated to Charolais (pure breed).

in 2009, the Company established a mobile lab in order to be able to collect and  freeze samples directly on the farm throughout our territory which includes the following departments: Loiret (45), Cher (18), Yonne (89), Aude (10), Seine and Marne (77), and Nievre (58).

For that purpose, we solicited the assistance of various companies including MES-Europe [A-Tech] to help in the  design of the lab which allowed us to incorporate the SQA-Vb system and the B-Sperm software into the truck-lab.

Currently our mobile lab is equipped with the  SQA-Vb and B-Sperm software and this combination gives us  the capacity to test samples in a reproducible manner, and allows us to keep track of all data collected in the field.

The introduction of the system was a major step in the upgrade of our quality control process and the robustness of this instrument gave us the possibility to install it in our truck for daily use.

In addition, the knowhow of the MES team gave us the capacity to increase the number  of procedures we can perform, to standardize them and to become more efficient by saving time and money.

Personally, I find that this technology gives reliable sperm concentration, motility, and morphology results, is easy to integrate into our daily routine and gives our lab manager a feeling of security since he cannot always be present when procedures are performed.  Due to this instrument however we can always rely on the results!

I would definitely recommend this technology to any bovine AI center, even where difficult sample handling conditions exist.  This system also allows high throughput and does not compromise the security of the sample being measured.

I would be grad to provide additional information to anyone interested in obtaining it.


Pierrick DREVILLION, Msc. EU. Eng



Dosing Bovine Semen by Progressively Motile Sperm: Impact on Pregnancy Rates in Dairy Cattle

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dosing Bovine Semen by Progressively Motile Sperm: Impact on Pregnancy Rates in Dairy Cattle


Y. Zeron1, L. Rabinovitch2, U.Shalit2, M. Deutsch2.

1Sion A.I. Company, Israel, 2Medical Electronic Systems, Caesarea, Israel.

The objective of this field trial was to evaluate the impact on pregnancy rates in dairy cattle inseminated with frozen semen that was dosed by progressively motile sperm per AI dose post thaw (PMPT).

The trial was divided into two phases. Phase 1 established a post thaw progressive motility loss factor (PMLF) per bull enrolled in the trial, tested the accuracy of preparing AI straws by # of progressively motile cells/straw post thaw, and provided the AI straws for the second phase.  Phase 2 analyzed the impact on pregnancy rates when inseminating large numbers of dairy cattle with the AI straws prepared in the first phase. In phase 1 of the trial, a unique PMLF was established for each of four Holstein bulls enrolled in the trial. The PMLF represents the overall percent decrease in the number of progressively motile cells resulting from the freezing/thawing process. Both fresh and post thaw frozen semen was tested using an automated sperm quality analyzer for bulls, the SQA-Vb. AI doses were all prepared using B-Sperm™ dosing software (Medical Electronic Systems, Ltd., Israel). Once the PMLF was established for each bull, 10 ejaculates from each of the four bulls were collected and tested using the automated SQA-Vb. Each ejaculate was split into four aliquots and used to prepare four AI dose batches (A, B, C, D) following the B-Sperm™ dosing software instructions. Three aliquots (A, B, C) were dosed by the number of progressively motile sperm post thaw targeting 1.5, 3.5 and 7.0 million per dose respectively. One aliquot per ejaculate (D) was dosed by targeting 15.0 million total number of sperm/dose, representing the standard dose preparation procedure at the stud (SION AI Company, Israel) and served as the study control. Microsoft Excel™ was used for statistical evaluation of the trial results.

A complete semen analysis was performed on seventy-six post-thaw AI straws from each batch using the SQA-Vb to determine the actual PMPT. The mean values +/- SEM for PMPT by batch were: (A) 1.5 +/- 0.05; (B) 3.0 +/- 0.09 and (C) 6.2 +/- 0.18 million progressively motile spermatozoa per dose. The mean value +/- SEM for total sperm cells per AI dose in batch D (Control) was 13.6 +/- 0.15 million. These results were found to be acceptable and a total of approximately 8,000 AI doses (2,000 per group) were distributed into straws and frozen by the stud technicians (Sion AI Company, Israel). In the 2nd phase of the trial 6,494 Holstein cows residing in more than 500 farms were artificially inseminated with semen from batch A, B, C or D between January and April 2009. Manual palpation pregnancy testing was conducted by veterinarians at approximately 42 days post-insemination. The insemination procedure and the pregnancy testing were performed blindly.  Pregnancy rates (per cow per cycle) were found to be: (Group A Target: 1.5 M Progressively Motile Sperm/dose) 34.2%; (Group B Target 3.5 M Progressively Motile Sperm/dose) 39.3%; (Group C Target 7.0 Progressively Motile Sperm/dose) 43.2; (Group D Control Target 15.0 M Total Sperm/dose) 38.6%. Significant differences were found between groups A (1.5M Prog Mot) and D (15M Total), C (7.0M Prog Mot) and D (15M Total), A (1.5M Prog Mot) and C (7.0M Prog Mot). The relative differences in pregnancy rates in the experimental groups A, B and C vs. the control were: -11.4%, 1.8% and 11.9%, respectively. A high correlation between the pregnancy rates in groups A, B and C and the number of progressively motile spermatozoa per AI dose (r = 0.96) was found.

It can be concluded that it is possible to accurately produce AI straws of frozen bovine semen based on a targeted post thaw number of progressively motile sperm cells per dose in a commercial setting. It was also demonstrated that pregnancy rates highly correlate to the number of progressively motile sperm cells per AI dose as demonstrated by a favorable 11.9% increase in pregnancy rates using AI straws from the highest PMPT group (C=7.0M Prog Mot) vs. the control, and in contrast, a 11.4% decrease in pregnancy rates using AI straws from the lowest PMPT group (A=1.5M Prog Mot) vs. the control. 

Key words: Progressive motility; Pregnancy rate; SQA-Vb; Frozen bovine semen; B-Sperm

Sion & A-Tech Global Dairy Cattle Progressive Motility Field Trial

Tuesday, November 17, 2009
In 2008 A-Tech Global and Sion Israel began a long term study to establish a correlation between dosing semen by progressive motility and pregnancy rates in dairy cattle. The trial was conducted in field conditions at more than 500 dairy farms with over 6,000 cows participating making it the most comprehensive fertility study ever conducted in Israel.  For dose preparation and quality control Sion Israel used a new technology: The SQA-Vb (Bull) Automated Semen Analyzer.  The SQA-Vb can accurately dose samples based on Progressive Motile Sperm in 45 seconds, perform post thaw quality control, and much more.  The system was quickly integrated into Sion's semen processing operation and was the technology of choice for this fertility trial.  With the much anticipated phase 3 results set to shake up the industry, A-Tech Global wanted to acknowledge the excellent work of Sion and provide our customers with some more information about their organization.

Sion A.I. was founded in 2001 through a merger between the On and Hasherut A.I. cooperatives. Sion currently maintains 240 bulls located in three different sites.  Each year, approximately 350,000 inseminations are performed in Israel, 92.5% with local semen from the Israeli-Holstein breed.  The Israeli dairy cattle population has the highest average milk and milk solids production in the world, even though dairy production is influenced by heat stress for most of the year.  Israeli bulls transmit outstanding genetics for milk yield and components, and excel in fertility, longevity and udder health traits. Sion employs 36 insemination technicians.  Currently, 88% of the dairy herds are involved in the DHI system. Insemination information is recorded by the technicians on hand-held computer terminals. This system allows for error-free data transfer to the central Israel Cows Breeders Association – ICBA computer.  Semen collection starts when bulls are 14 months old. Genetic evaluations are computed biannually, and the status of the bulls and cows are reevaluated after each new genetic evaluation.  For more information, please visit Sion's Website:

Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure:

A-Tech CEO Marcia Deutsch and US Director (and blog author) Eric Carver making a new friend at Sion:

"The Team" at lunch time:

A beautiful shot of Sion's facility from across the field:

Two mechanics "checking the oil":

A heart-felt endorsement letter from Director of Science and Production Yoel Zeron:

Want to learn more?  Click the logo below:

A-Tech Global Welcomes Quantum Scientific

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

A-Tech Global is pleased to welcome Quantum Scientific as our exclusive Australian distributor!  Seen here at the Australian Cattle, Sheep & Reproduction Veterinarians Conference representing the SQA-Vb Bull Automated Semen Analyzer, Quantum Scientific brings a high level of technical and clinical knowledge to the table in addition to their world class service and support.  The A-Tech Bovine analyzer was well received by those in attendance at the show and we look forward to showcasing our speed, accuracy, and precision to the market on a large scale.  The SQA-Vb reports Sperm Concentration, Motility, Morphology, Velocity, and much more all in 45 seconds.  Speakers at the conference included: Peter Chenoweth, John Aitken, Paul Kenyon, Kevin Stafford, Victor Cortese, Jeremy Thompson, Michael Thibier, Alan Seawright, and more.  Visit Quantum Scientific on the web at:  For more information on the SQA-Vb, QwikCheck™ Gold, or QwikCheck™ QCb Automated Bull Semen Analyzers please visit our product page here: BULL PRODUCTS


Sion AI Stud Fertility Trial | Dosing by Progressive Sperm

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A-Tech (Advanced Agricultural Technologies), in cooperation with SION Bull Stud (Israel) began a fertility trial in mid 2008.  Our SQA-Vb Automated Semen Analyzer was used to prepare AI doses based on total sperm concentration and different levels of progressively motile sperm concentration in order to better understand the benefits of dosing based on progressively motile sperm vs. total sperm in a production setting.  10,000 frozen straws were prepared using the SQA-Vb system's dosing instructions.  The straws were divided into the following categories: 2,500 straws prepared with 15 million total sperm, 2,500 straws prepared with 1.5 million progressively motile sperm, 2,500 straws prepared with 3.5 million progressively motile sperm and 2,500 straws prepared with 7 million progressively motile sperm.  After freezing, the straws were then run on the quality control (frozen) mode of the SQA-Vb analyzer to insure dose quality and survivability.  Thousands of cows from multiple dairies throughout Israel participated in the study and now the data from this trial is being evaluated for impact on fertility. The data assessment phase is scheduled for completion in Q3, 2009.  Please stay tuned for the results - it should be quite an eye opener.

For an overview of the first two phases of the trial (validating the SQA-Vb and preparing the straws) please review this presentation made by A-Tech Global's chief Veterinarian Dr. Uri Shalit at last years Theriogenology conference in St Louis:


For more information on the SQA-Vb and our other Bovine automated semen analyzers, please visit our Bull products section HERE

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