Levels of selected mineral elements in semen of Iguana iguana received by electroejaculator

Ján Kováč 1 Róbert Kirchner 2 Eva Tvrdá 1

1Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Sciences, Department of Animal Physiology, Tr. A. Hlinku 2, 949 76 Nitra, Slovak Republic
2Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Botanical Garden, Tr. A. Hlinku 2, 949 76 Nitra, Slovak Republic

An increasing number of endangered animals, especially reptiles, underlines the need to develop appropriate strategies for their assisted reproduction in order to preserve and protect the genetic heritage. In general, it is known that for the long-term storage of germ cells, it is important to use a suitable medium, which we obtain only if we find out the exact specifications and composition of the ejaculate of the animal. Sodium (Na) and potassium (K) are involved in sperm motility and capacity. Chlorid (Cl) channels play important roles in the regulation of sperm volume and motility. In the presented study we focused on the acquisition of the male reproductive fluid from a reptile (Iguana iguana) using an electroejaculation method and after a successful semen collection, to investigate the levels of the selected minerals from the obtained samples. The two animals (Green iguanas) were housed at the Vivarium of the University of Agriculture in Nitra. The first was 10 years old and  weighed 2.012 kg and the second was 6 years old weighed 1.715 kg. The concentrations of sodium, chlorine and potassium in the samples were analyzed using specific Randox reagents (Sodium, Chlorine and Potassium) (Randox Laboratories Ltd., UK) and the RxMonza automatic photometer (Randox Laboratories Ltd., UK). Our results indicated that electrostimulation can be performed to obtain semen samples from Green iguanas. This study showed that the main concentrations of the selected mineral parameters were: Na – 18.88±2.82 (mM/L), Cl – 17.17±2.59 (mM/L) and K – 1.57±0.28 (mM/L). Finally we can state, that electrostimulation is an effective method for semen collection in reptiles. We may conclude, that the levels of these minerals can play a big role in ideal preservation media to be created which will help us to produce the right long-term conditions for sperm storage.

This study was supported by the APVV-15-0544 and VEGA 1/0239/20 grants.