Colbufalos, a company lead by Juan Gonzalo Angel, started a program of artificial insemination in water buffalo with sexed semen with positive results.
Water buffaloes in a swamp in Colombia photo taked by Juan Gonzalo Angel
Online PR News – 03-September-2012 –Water buffalo breeding, an industry that actually uses artificial insemination, started using a new variant of the procedure in which the sex of the offspring can be chosen and it is called “Sexed Semen.”
This experience had never been used for the water buffalo species until this year, when Colbufalos, a company dedicated to buffalo breeding, located in Cordoba-Colombia, and led by Juan Gonzalo Angel, obtained the first successful results.
“This is the first report of the use of this bio-technology in Colombia and the rest of the world, but in coming years we will improve this technology to obtain better results and have information on the effect in our herd.”
Sexed semen became a reality in 1989, when Dr. Larry Johnson and his colleagues used a flow cytometer to sort spermatozoa and detect some differences in their DNA. The X-bearing sperm are sorted off in one direction, the Y- bearing sperm in another, and anything of undetermined sex passes straight through as waste. Since that time, this method that bio-technically separates the sperm has been applied to many farming species. And in water buffalo, this technique was investigated by Giorgio Antonio Presicce and his collaborators in 2005.
Colbufalos started their program of artificial insemination (AI) with sexed semen in late 2010, using semen from the Mediterranean race. Although no special considerations were taken to the use the sexed semen straws in the program at the farm, the water buffalo females were sorted by their better genetic characteristics and high production. The first offspring from sexed semen was obtained on December 17th, 2011. Results at first were less than average, having instances of pregnancy less than 30%. In seeking possible causes, great variability in seminal material quality, mobility and concentration was found. For the second attempt, Colbufalos decided to use a different sperm supplier named “Sexing Technologies,” and necessary adjustments were made to minimize the variation in the quality of seminal material. The company also decided to inseminate heifers only.
These adjustments allowed them to obtain a higher percentage of pregnancy, increasing up to 47%, which was 24% lower compared to un-sexed semen. But this figure is considered today commercially acceptable. Additionally, 95% of the offspring obtained were females, with only three males out of 52 deliveries. This proved the effectiveness of the technology.
Juan Gonzalo Angel stated, "This is the first report of the use of this bio-technology in Colombia and the rest of the world, but in coming years we will improve this technology to obtain better results and have information on the effect in our herd. We know it has some limitations, especially in relation to the management of seminal material and the skill of the inseminator."