Cryopreservation and vitrification of fish semen: a review with special emphasis on marine species

Semen conservation methods have been extensively studied for fish species over the last 60years. Cryopreservation techniques can be divided into two types: one with slow cooling rates like traditional freezing and the other with ultrarapid rates as used in vitrification. These protocols increase the time over which semen samples can be used for reproduction or sperm quality analysis. Marine fish possess greater resistance than freshwater species to variations in osmolality. This favours the application of these methods, which produce better results after thawing and offer high biotechnological potential for aquaculture. In the last 15years, sperm cryopreservation studies have been carried out in 32 marine species, but there are few analyses of the effects of freezing on the morphology and physiology of sperm cells. The object of this review was to provide recent data on semen cryopreservation in marine fish species and to suggest variables which may be applied in future research.

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