Could Air-Dried Semen Produce Equine Embryos?

Researchers determined that air-dried sperm can be kept for up to four weeks before being used to produce an embryo.

No account yet? Register


When it’s time to breed your mare, what method do you choose? Live cover? Or artificial insemination with semen that’s been chilled, frozen, or … air-dried? The idea isn’t as far-fetched as it might seem: Argentinian researchers have recently developed a protocol for storing equine sperm by air drying it. Easy to obtain and manage, they’ve determined that air-dried sperm can be kept for up to four weeks before being used for embryo production.

“This is a preliminary study in a nonconventional method of sperm conservation, which may have such advantages as preserving sperm when cryopreservation is not possible, or avoiding transmission of venereal viral diseases,” said Ana Alonso, PhD, of the Department of Theriogenology in the Institute of Investigation and Technology in Animal Reproduction at the University of Buenos Aires’ Faculty of Veterinary Sciences.

Alonso and her fellow researchers compared the embryos they produced using cooled semen stored up to 28 hours and air-dried semen stored for two, 14, or 28 days. All embryos were produced via intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

They found no differences in the quality of sperm DNA or the activation of the oocytes (although embryo production itself was slightly higher with cooled semen), said Alonso. What’s more, the success rate was just as high whether the dried sperm had been stored two days, two weeks, or a month

Create a free account with to view this content. is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.


Written by:

Passionate about horses and science from the time she was riding her first Shetland Pony in Texas, Christa Lesté-Lasserre writes about scientific research that contributes to a better understanding of all equids. After undergrad studies in science, journalism, and literature, she received a master’s degree in creative writing. Now based in France, she aims to present the most fascinating aspect of equine science: the story it creates. Follow Lesté-Lasserre on Twitter @christalestelas.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

When do you begin to prepare/stock up on products/purchase products for these skin issues?
96 votes · 96 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with!