Morphological alterations in cryopreserved spermatozoa of scallop Argopecten purpuratus
The present work identifies and quantifies the morphological alterations of scallop Argopecten purpuratus spermatozoa caused by long-term cryopreservation. Percentages of motility, fertilization and injured spermatozoa were quantified by optic microscopy and scanned electron microscopy. These parameters were evaluated in sperm without treatment (CTR), spermatozoa incubated in cryoprotective solution but not freezed (ICS) and freezed-thawed spermatozoa (FTS). Spermatozoa of ICS treatment remained motile longer than those of CTR, whereas those of FTS treatment were lowest. Morphology of the spermatozoa was affected in several ways by the freeze-thawing treatment; some had their head deformed or swollen, others had their cell membrane folded or broken; acrosome reaction; anomalous positions or absence of mitochondria as well as broken, stiff or loss of lineal structure of tail. CTR and ICS treatments had higher percentages of undamaged sperm (87.7% and 79.0% respectively), while FTS samples had 14.2% of undamaged sperm. The tail was the spermatic structure most commonly injured in FTS (77.0%), the percentage of sperm with head injury was 55.1% and with acrosome reaction was 28.7%, whereas middle piece was affected in 23.9% of sperm. Percentages of fertilization were 68.3%, 67.9% and 58.2% for CTR, ICS and FTS respectively, which were not significantly different. There was a higher correlation between injuries and motility than between injuries and fertilization success. Correlation between motility and fertilization was low (0.605 and 0.668 with motility at 5 and 30 min, respectively).