Gamete cryobanks for laboratory research: developing a rapid and easy-to-perform protocol for the cryopreservation of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus (Lmk, 1816) spermatozoa.

Cryobiology

PubMedID: 24997279

Fabbrocini A, D'Adamo R, Pelosi S, Oliveira LF, Silvestri F, Sansone G. Gamete cryobanks for laboratory research: developing a rapid and easy-to-perform protocol for the cryopreservation of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus (Lmk, 1816) spermatozoa. Cryobiology. 2014;.
Gamete cryopreservation is a biotechnology that can guarantee a continuous supply of gametes, regardless of the seasonal reproductive cycle. In this study we developed a protocol for the cryopreservation of the sea urchin P. lividus spermatozoa, with a view to the creation of cryobanks of semen to be used as a model system in laboratory research and ecotoxicological tests. All the key phases of the procedure were separately considered and the effect on sperm motility was evaluated by means of computer assisted analysis. The best results were obtained using 7% dimethylsulphoxide in 1% NaCl plus 0.04M trehalose as the extender, at a freezing rate of -20 °C/min. On thawing, in semen samples cryopreserved in accordance with this protocol the velocity parameters of the sub-population of rapid sperm (best performing spermatozoa) did not significantly differ from semen on collection; in addition also the fertilization ability was restored, and about 50% of normal developed plutei larvae were obtained by thawed semen. The developed protocol is rapid and easy-to-perform; moreover, the use of gametes from reared urchins makes it unnecessary to continuously collect specimens from natural populations, making this procedure a promising starting point for the creation of alternative and more sustainable methodologies in laboratory research on sea urchin gametes and embryos.