Sexed Semen Technology for the 21st Century

SexedUltra™ semen products represent a new era in sexed semen technology that deliver conception rates up to 95% of those achieved through use of conventional semen. No other sexed semen in the world can deliver a better conception rate than SexedUltra™ semen products. The SexedUltra™ process combines improved biotechnology with cutting edge machines and advanced computer software to efficiently sort semen while minimizing damage to sperm cells. A specially formulated media keeps sperm cells healthy and vigorous as they flow through our newly developed Genesis III digital sorting machines. The Genesis III sorts semen more quickly, accurately and with less loss of sperm cells than any other sorting machine. Before the SexedUltra™ process, sexed semen typically achieved conception rates that were 15 % to 25 % lower than non-sexed semen. Years of research, development and six field trials using 40,000 head of cattle in the U.S., Ireland, France and New Zealand showed that SexedUltra™ semen products consistently achieved conception rates up to 95% of those achieved using conventional semen. Actual results will depend on an individual’s unique breed/animals and herd management program. Historically, sexed semen’s lower conception rates and higher cost limited its use to heifers. With conception rates almost the same as conventional semen, SexedUltra™ semen products make financial sense for use in lactating cows as well. The higher conception rates of SexedUltra™ semen products are more significant in light of a recent study co-authored by a Harvard researcher that showed heifers giving birth to females produce significantly more milk than those giving birth to males. A heifer that delivers two females sequentially produces, on average, up to 445 kg more milk over the course of the two lactations. The increased milk production more than pays for the cost of AI using SexedUltra™ semen products.

How is the Sperm Sorted?

Cattle sperm bearing X chromosomes (female) contain about 3.8% more genetic material than those carrying Y chromosomes. Sophisticated machines running our proprietary software are able to identify X and Y sperm based on their differing DNA content and separate them by gender. Bull semen that meets our high-quality standards is combined with a specially formulated media that both nourishes and stains the sperm. The sperm remain in this media throughout the sorting process. The more genetic material a sperm carries, the more stain it absorbs. The sperm then flow single file past a laser and the computer measures the resulting fluorescence, which identifies the sperm as having either male or female DNA. Slight electrical charges send the sperm streaming into the appropriate containers.

The Sorting Equipment

Sexing Technologies is proud to introduce the latest in flow cytometry equipment for sperm sorting. The Genesis III sorts semen more quickly, accurately and with 5%-7% fewer sperm cells lost during processing than any other sorting machine. The Genesis III has three times the production capacity of the earlier generation machines and has the same footprint. The software is much more automated, making it easier for one technician to operate two or three sorters to produce the same number of straws as four technicians could using the old equipment.

What results can be expected?

Each straw of our sexed semen contains about 90 percent DNA for the gender you choose. This means you have about a 90 percent chance of getting a calf of the chosen gender from each successful pregnancy achieved through AI. Conception rates for sexed semen is traditionally lower than conventional semen. However, researchers at Sexing Technologies have developed new technology that significantly increases the conception rates of sexed semen AI through the SexedUltra™ process.