Preliminary studies of sperm traits and cryopreservation of the Caribbean reef building coral Orbicella Faveolata
Cryopreservation has been recently applied to coral gametes and tissue with successful results that can be applied for different purposes on coral conservation and restoration. In this study, we decided to determine the sperm morphology of the coral Orbicella faveolata and assess the feasibility of sperm cryopreservation using a combination of intracellular (1,2-Propadiol) and extracellular (milk) cryoprotectants, and two frozen treatments for 24 h. Mature spermatozoa had a triangular-like head shape measuring 4.10 ± 0.69 μm
(mean ± SD) and long flagellum (43.24 ± 7.99 μm). Fresh sperm remained viable and mobile for more than five hours after being released from the gamete bundles. After cryopreservation, all post-thaw sperm components assessed (morphology, motility and viability) showed no difference in contrast to fresh sperm. This study is the first report of cryopreservation of O. faveolata sperm, however further research is needed to increase the success of the cryopreservation protocol for broad-scale application.
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