Despite the great potential of sperm technologies such as sperm cryopreservation and sperm sex sorting for the improvement of different aspects of swine production, artificial insemination with fresh or stored semen is currently the only sperm technology used at a commercial scale in the pig industry. The lower reproductive performance associated with the use of these sperm technologies is the reason for such limited use. Since optimal characteristics are required for successful application of frozenthawed and sex-sorted boar spermatozoa, the present paper summarises the value of the current available methods for their functional assessment as well as the effects of these technologies on boar sperm functionality. In addition, strategies developed to reduce sperm damage and improve the yields of both sperm technologies in swine production are also reviewed with particular attention to the contributions of the authors.
© 2009 Society for Reproduction and Fertility