Percoll Process Can Improve Semen Quality and Fertility in Turkey Breeders

  • Choi, K.H. (Dept. of Clinical & Population Sci., Coll. of Vet. Med. Univ. of Minn.) ;
  • Emery, D.A. (Willmar Poultry Co.) ;
  • Straub, D.E. (Willmar Poultry Co.) ;
  • Lee, C-S. (Dept. of Clinical & Population Sci., Coll. of Vet. Med. Univ. of Minn.)
  • Received : 1999.01.05
  • Accepted : 1999.02.11
  • Published : 1999.08.01


A percoll density gradient technique was developed for producing high quality turkey semen and improving the fertility by removing deleterious cellular components, including spermiophages, bacteria, abnormal or dead spermatozoa, and other cellular debris. The combination of three different percoll densities, 1.05, 1.07, and 1.08 showed the best resolution and was selected to prepare a discontinuous percoll density gradient to obtain healthy spermatozoa from semen smples. Bacteria, spermiophages, and abnormal or dead spermatozoa were detected from the density range from 1.05, 1.05 to 1.07, and 1.07 to 1.08, respectively. Healthy spermatozoa were collected from the density greater than 1.08. Spermatozoa obtained from percoll density gradient centrifugation showed better sperm motility than those from unprocessed pooled semen. Bacteria including Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Proteus spp., were predominant contaminants in turkey semen, and the numbers of cells were approximately $5{\times}10^5$ to $1{\times}10^9cfu/ml$. The overall fertility rates in hens inseminated with processed percoll density gradient were higher than those in hens with unprocessed semen especially for unhealthy sperm. In conclusion, semen quality can be improved by percoll density gradient centrifugation, which augmented the fertility of turkey breeders.


Turkey;Spermatozoa;Percoll Density Gradient Centrifugation;Spermiophages;Artificial Insemination;Normal or Yellow-Colored Semen