1. The effects of lycopene-enriched extenders on the in vitro quality of turkey semen including lipid peroxidation were examined after chilled and frozen storage. 2. Five pools of semen diluted in extenders containing 0, 0.05 or 0.1 mg/mL of lycopene were stored at 5°C for 48 h or cryopreserved as pellets and the following variables determined in fresh samples and samples stored chilled or frozen: sperm motility, viability, osmotic resistance, DNA integrity and lipid peroxidation (as malonaldehyde production). 3. Semen quality was generally compromised after storage, especially post-freezing. However, in the presence of the highest dose of lycopene, both the viability and osmotic-resistance of chilled sperm and the DNA integrity of frozen sperm were similar to those of fresh sperm. 4. Greater lipid peroxidation was detected in refrigerated compared to fresh or cryopreserved spermatozoa. However, spermatozoa chilled in lycopene-enriched extenders showed significantly lower malonaldehyde levels than those chilled without lycopene, while the addition of lycopene to the freezing medium served to maintain the lipid peroxidation levels observed in fresh semen. 5. In conclusion, the presence of lycopene in the extender improved the survival of turkey spermatozoa after liquid-storage and protected DNA integrity against cryodamage. The beneficial effects of lycopene observed could be related to its capacity to diminish sperm lipid peroxidation during refrigeration or cryopreservation.
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