Tushar Sharma*, Rahul Gupta*, Dinesh Rawat*
Semen sexing is the process of augmenting sperm cells according to their sex to enable regulated reproduction and guarantee the desired progeny. This method offers the opportunity to modify the sex ratio of offspring, resulting to greater genetic advancement and improved herd management, and it holds enormous potential in the field of animal breeding. Semen sexing enhances overall productivity while also assisting farmers in meeting the rising demand for high-quality dairy animals by enabling them to selectively generate female calves.
Animal breeding has undergone a revolution, thanks to the development of semen sexing technology, which gives farmers more control and accuracy over the sex of their offspring. The development and promotion of semen sexing technology in farm animals has been significantly aided by ABS India, a top supplier of reproductive solutions to the agricultural industry. This article examines the idea of semen sexing, how it is used on various farm animal species, the technology used by ABS India, and the advantages it provides to farmers.
Why Sexing is needed
Sexed semen is a one-stop solution to all issues in a country like India where undernourishment and a lack of food are still important concerns for the entire population. According to the FAO’s most recent data, almost 500 million Indians depend on raising animals, and 80 million people are said to rely mostly on dairy farming. The majority dairy farmers are marginal and small-scale producers who frequently rely ongrazing fields for the animal fodder. This pose another socio-ethical issue where the competition isrendered by the male offspring.
Understanding Sexed Semen
The process of “semen sexing,” also known as “sperm sorting,”.This process enables the geneticidentification of sperm cells for female chromosome bearing sperm cells and subsequent inactivation of male chromosome bearing sperms cells. This selective amplification and careful processing of only X-bearing for artificial insemination (AI) or other assisted reproductive procedures comprises of Semen sexing process.
Semen sexing is based on the idea that female sperm cells have a X chromosome, and male sperm cells have a Y chromosome. Since the technology enables us to distinguish, it is possible to change the gender distribution of calf born via AI. Due to its potential to strengthen genetic selection, improve herd management, and increase economic returns, this technology has grown in popularity.
Application in Species:
Cattle, pigs, horses, and goats are some of the farm animal species that can benefitted using semen sexing technology. With a primary focus on Livestock animal breeding, ABS India provides sexed semen for a variety of dairy and beef breeds.
Semen sexing technique is most frequently used in the breeding in dairy animals, for both Cattle and buffalo breeds, ABS India offers sexed semen, enabling farmers to selectively breed animals in accordance with their own objectives.Sexed semen can be used by dairy farmers to produce more heifer calves, who will eventually mature into milk producers. Farmers can also selectively breed for superior genetics in the beef industry to produce more meat of the highest grade.
Technology Employed by ABS India:
ABS India uses cutting-edge technology and strict quality control procedures to give farmers high-quality sexed semen. ABS has its presence all over India, with currently four functional sites(Sangli, Maharashtra;Babugarh, UP; Mehsana and Patan, Gujrat) and tie ups with the premier Dairy and Veterinary institutes for delivering the best to the dairy farms and farmers. After selling about 5 million units produced in India, and 25 million units worldwide, ABS has created a milestone achievement supporting the farmers through the various support functions.
The following steps are involved in the semen sexing process:
Semen Collection: From selected sires with desired genetic features, semen samples are taken by highly skilled technicians. Based on their genetic potential, health, and fertility, these sires go through a thorough screening and selection process.
Semen Processing: After being collected, these samples are screened on the three primary factors, Concentration, Motility and Morphology to process only the healthy cells for the continuing the process. These processes are carried out by team of highly skilled staff using the cutting-edge laboratory methods and tools to guarantee the best quality sexed semen.The primary technology utilised in semen sexing is flow cytometry. When sperm cells are labelled with a fluorescent dye that binds to DNA and are fed to the machine. The machine distinguishes between X-bearing (female) and Y-bearing (male) sperm and selectively inactivates the Y – bearing spermatozoa. Such sophisticated instruments and highly skilled team of scientists work round the clock to ensure the due diligence in the process.
Semen Freezing: Once the identification and processing of the sample is completed. The semen sample are subjected to cooling using Liquid Nitrogen which has special property of being stable at -196oC. The semen packed in straws are frozen and kept in LN2 till it reaches the final destination i.e., farmers. This would be then used by the Veterinarian for performing the AI on the selected animals.
Benefits of using Sexed Semen
There are various advantages to using sexed semen in agricultural animals.
- Sex Selection: Sexed semen allows farmers to carefully select the sex of the progeny, allowing them to concentrate on breeding animals with desired features.
- Improved genetic selection: This improves the herd’s overall quality and genetic advancement.
- Improved breeding effectiveness: Farmers can make sure that every mating is more likely to produce the desired sex of the progeny by utilising sexed semen. This may result in increased conception rates and less time and money being used to care for and rear undesired animals.
- Better control over herd dynamics is made possible by sexed semen, which enables farmers to selectively breed animals for particular uses. For instance, they can breed cows to produce milk or choose superior males to produce meat, maximising the herd’s overall productivity.
- Greater financial gains: Sexed semen has the potential to be more profitable. Farmers might concentrate on breeding animals that have higher market value, which will increase their profits. Additionally, higher financial results may result from lower expenses related to caring and raising surplus animals.
- Environmental sustainability: Sexed semen aids in lowering the birthrate of male animals, which may have favourable effects on the environment. Using sexed semen might lessen the total environmental impact associated with animal husbandry because males often use more resources and have lower economic value in particular production systems.
- Better animal welfare: Farmers can enhance the general health and welfare of their animals by selectively breeding for desired features. This covers characteristics relating to productivity, illness resistance, and general requirements for animal welfare.
In conclusion, semen sexing technology has revolutionized animal breeding by providing farmers with the ability to control the sex of their offspring. ABS India, a leading supplier of reproductive solutions, has played a significant role in developing and promoting semen sexing technology in farm animals. This technology has proven to be highly advantageous in various species such as cattle, pigs, horses, and goats. By utilizing cutting-edge techniques like flow cytometry, ABS India ensures the production of high-quality sexed semen. The benefits of using sexed semen include sex selection, improved genetic selection, enhanced breeding effectiveness, better control over herd dynamics, greater financial gains, environmental sustainability, and improved animal welfare. Overall, semen sexing offers tremendous potential for genetic advancement, improved herd management, and meeting the demands of the agricultural industry.