Sperm viability assessment in marine invertebrates by fluorescent staining and spectrofluorimetry: A promising tool for assessing marine pollution impact
Abstract The viability of spermatozoa is a crucial parameter to evaluate their quality that is an important issue in ecotoxicological studies. Here, a new method has been developed to rapidly determine the viability of spermatozoa in three marine invertebrates: the ascidian Ciona intestinalis , the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus and the mollusc Mytilus galloprovincialis . This method employed the dual DNA fluorescent staining coupled with spectrofluorimetric analysis. The dual fluorescent staining used the SYBR-14 stained live spermatozoa and propidium iodide stained degenerated cells that had lost membrane integrity. Stain uptake was assessed by confocal microscopy and then the percentage of live and dead spermatozoa was quantified by spectrofluorimetric analysis. The microscopic examination revealed three populations of spermatozoa: living-SYBR-14 stained, dead-PI stained, and dying-doubly stained spermatozoa. The fluorescence emission peak values recorded in a spectrofluorimeter provide the portion of live and dead spermatozoa showing a significant negative correlation. The stain combination was further validated using known ratios of live and dead spermatozoa. The present study demonstrated that the dual DNA staining with SYBR-14 and propidium iodide was effective in assessing viability of spermatozoa in marine invertebrates and that spectrofluorimetric analysis can be successfully employed to evaluate the percentage of live and dead spermatozoa. The method develop herein is simple, accurate, rapid, sensitive, and cost-effective, so it could be a useful tool by which marine pollutants may be screened for spermiotoxicity. Highlights Development of a method to rapidly assess marine invertebrates sperm viability. A dual DNA fluorescent staining was coupled with spectrofluorimetric analysis. Propidium iodide and SYBR-14 differentiate live and dead spermatozoa. Spectrofluorimetric analysis successfully evaluate the live/dead sperm percentage. A promising tool by which marine pollutants may be screened for spermiotoxicity.
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