Survey of the Gochu Asturcelta autochthonous breed germplasm bank, new publication

We have just published an article in the journal Animals, on a Special Issue on pig reproduction, on the cryopreserved semen of the Gochu Asturcelta autochthonous breed. This study has been coordinated by Dr. Néstor Caamaño and resulted from a collaboration of SERIDA and the Universities of Murcia, Oviedo, and León. This study contributes with new and promising information on the reproductive biology of this species and contributes to the conservation of this valuable local species.

A Gochu Asturcelta sow, showing features of this valuable local breed.

A Gochu Asturcelta sow, showing features of this valuable local breed (Wikipedia).

As significant advances, we can confirm that the sperm doses stored in the genetic resource bank of the Principado de Asturias could be used in the future, if needed, for the expansion of this breed. The assessed parameters comprise motility, many physiological variables analyzed by flow cytometry, and chromatin status. This last parameter was assessed at the University of León by Dr. Amer Salman, and it is a critical one regarding boar fertility and offspring wellness.

Interestingly, the seminal quality seems to follow a seasonal pattern, with better quality for samples collected earlier in the year (spring-summer). This could be related to the specific climate of the areas in the Principado de Asturias where these animals are bred and could be very relevant for their breeding and conservation.

This experiment was partly funded by two of our projects (RTI2018-095183-B-I00, MCI/AEI/FEDER, EU, and LE023P20, Junta de Castilla y León/Consejería de Educación/FEDER, EU) for studying the boar sperm chromatin. This line of work contributes to the circular economy and the improvement of the agri-food sector by enhancing the application of artificial insemination and reducing antibiotic use.

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