Animal Semen Sexing

Being able to determine the sex of animal offspring is of significant value for animal producers, and offers opportunities for research to develop new commercial processes. The only sexing tool currently on the market is expensive, leads to lower fertility, and is only effective with heifers.

Ab Biotech Inc. in Gatineau, Quebec is a company working to develop an immunological approach to sexing semen for all species, including humans. It has collaborated with the Centre de recherche en biovalorisation (CRAB) at La Cité since 2009 to design a process for producing and purifying antibodies in animal semen sexing.

New equipment at La Cité purchased through an Applied Research Tools and Instruments grant allows the research team to 1) produce recombinant immunogens and antibodies using an accelerated process 2) produce bacteriophages for the immunocapture of sperm cells, and 3) do genotyping and quantification of fractionated animal semen and sex-specific embryos.

Ab Biotech President Robert Letellier says, “Ab Biotech has benefitted tremendously from the ultramodern equipment acquired by La Cité over the past several years. This helps biotech companies like ours a lot because a number of us can share expensive tools we truly need but call on only occasionally. It’s saved us hundreds of thousands of dollars and attracted investors. We’re extremely thankful.”

La Cité’s professors and technologists bring their scientific expertise to these bio-industrial innovation research projects and help to train highly specialized workers for cutting-edge fields. Through the Ab Biotech Inc. partnership, four students a year complete co-op work terms, get part-time jobs, and complete practical in-course projects. Six of the program’s graduates have secured jobs with Ab Biotech.

Industry: Agriculture
Partner(s): Ab Biotech Inc.
Funded by: Applied Research Tools and Instruments (ARTI) Grant

About La Cité

La Cité est un collège d’arts appliqués et de technologie situé à Ottawa, la capitale nationale du Canada. L’établissement est le seul collège francophone de... Learn more