Madeddu, Manuela (2009) Creazione di una banca del seme di specie selvatiche dell'avifauna sarda mediante l'utilizzo del gallo come modello sperimentale. Doctoral Thesis.
Semen cryopreservation plays a leading role in ex situ management of genetic diversity in wild birds, being the only available method in these animals. This work was carried on in two different species: the Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus), an endangered bird living in a very small colony in Sardinia, and the Barbary partridge (Alectoris barbara), a species running the risk of genetic merge with similar species. The semen of the rooster (Gallus domesticus) was used as experimental model and different cryopreservation methods were tested in order to identify the best extender (Lake and Talp) and cryoprotectant (glycerol and DMA). The effects of freezing methods were assessed by sperm viability, sperm motility, DNA fragmentation and ATP levels. The tests developed on domestic bird were also successfully applied on wild birds, with suitable adjustment needed for species-specific differences. Partridge and Griffon sperm ability to survive freezing process was demonstrated and the most reliable tests to predict the success rate of semen cryopreservation in these species were identified. In conclusion, the present study provides baseline data on semen characteristics and on reproductive physiology of Barbary partridge and Griffon vulture. These date are of great importance to create a semen cryobank in order to allow the development of assisted reproduction program to protect genetic heritage of these wild birds.
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