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Section pigs and small ruminants

Team Prof. Dr. Dagmar Waberski

Staff and doctoral students:

  • Dr. Xuyen Le Thi
  • TÄ Julia Batz
  • Dr. Anne Marie Luther
  • TÄ Lisa Höfner
  • TÄ Donata Niebuhr

  • Prof. em. Dr. h.c. Karl Fritz Weitze


Research focus:


Interaction between the inseminate and the female reproductive tract in pigs



Spermatozoa and seminal plasma interact with the female reproductive tract thereby regulating local processes on the route to fertilization. Immune modulatory effects of seminal plasma in the porcine uterus and oviducts are studied using in vitro and in vivo models. In addition, the interaction between spermatozoa and the female tract is examined. Spermatology, immunohistology and molecular techniques are used in cooperation with the Department of Immunology and the Institute for Anatomy.



Reactivity of spermatozoa under fertilization conditions in vitro


Spermatozoa are highly specialized cells which sensitively react on signals of the female genital tract. The reactivity of spermatozoa to capacitation stimuli in vitro is studied in kinetic approaches using computer-assisted semen analysis and flow cytometry. Regulatory structures are characterized. The influence of semen preservation on the reactivity profiles of sperm subpopulations is analyzed.


Quality assurance in semen preservation


The quality of preserved semen is influenced by methods of semen collection, semen processing, transport and storage. Factors influencing the quality of preserved boar semen are investigated under routine conditions in AI centers and in standardized experiments. Concepts for quality assurance in AI centers are developed accordingly. In addition, methods for improved semen preservation under hypothermic conditions are tested.


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