New Technologies Application
At ZOITECHLAB, one of our primal aims is to keep up-to-date regarding scientific and technological advances which provide us with a natural ability to turn innovative technologies into practical developments, applying techniques we consider are worth being used in pig artificial insemination.
New techniques of seminal testing
Seminal examination consists of a group of tests, all linked to the prediction of the semen fertilizing ability. Test value lies on its simplicity and on its fertility prediction properties. With regard to these aspects we are currently working on:
- Short ORT. Modification on the technique carried out by Schilling in 1984 that indicates the preservation ability at 15ºC. This test, originally taking 2 hour time, it has been sped up and shortened up to 5 min, getting the same results.
- Short HOST. It consists on a test developed by Jeyendran in 1984 that has been modified for boar semen, reducing the time from 30 min up to 5. This test indicates the status of the plasmatic membrane and it is related to fertility.
Embryo Transfer This technique permits assuring high genetic value sow reproduction. By means of a hormonal treatment, we are able to obtain in a single estrous cycle a huge amount of oocytes to be fertilized by artificial insemination. Later on, the embryos are picked up and transferred to receptive sows with a lower genetic value.
Like the embryos, male semen preservation is also quite important. It is carried out by freezing, keeping it in perfect conditions for long periods of time. Boar sperm is really very sensitive to cold temperatures, so in order to get good results, there are different aspects that should be taken into consideration, especially the protection against fast temperature changes. Nowadays, boar semen can be frozen and inseminated giving fertility results similar to those obtained with semen preserved at 15ºC. However this technique still has a rather expensive cost, therefore it is being only used in animals bearing a high genetic value.