A dual colour FISH method for routine validation of sexed Bos taurus semen
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Background Usage of sexed semen that allows to choose the gender of the calves, is commonly practiced in livestock industry as a profitable breeding alternative, especially in dairy farming. The flow cytometric cell sorting is the only commercially available method for bovine sperm sexing. For validation of the sexing procedure several methods have been developed including sperm fluorescence in situ hybridisation techniques. Latter usually include the use of pre-labelled nucleotides for probe synthesis which is relatively expensive approach compared to combined application of aminoallyl-dUTP and chemical binding of fluorescent dyes. Here a sex determining dual colour bovine sperm fluorescence in situ hybridisation method is presented which is considered more cost-effective technique than the previously reported approaches. Results The reliability of sex chromosome identifying probes, designed in silico, was proven on bovine metaphase plate chromosomes and through comparison with a commercially available standard method. In the dual colour FISH experiments of unsexed and sexed bovine sperm samples the hybridisation efficiency was at least 98%, whereas the determined sex ratios were not statistically different from the expected. Very few cells carried both of the sex chromosome-specific signals (less than 0.2%). Conclusions A protocol for a dual colour bovine sperm FISH method is provided which is cost-effective, simple and fast for sex determination of spermatozoa in bull semen samples.