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The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of soybean lecithin as a substitute for egg yolk in milk and tris based extenders in ram semen cryopreservation. Twenty ejaculates were col- lected from four healthy, mature Wrzosówka rams (2-3 years of age). Each ejaculate was divided into four equal aliquots and diluted with four different extenders: 1) milk extender containing 5% egg yolk, 2) milk extender containing 1.5% soybean lecithin, 3) tris extender containing 20% egg yolk, 4) tris extender containing 1.5% soybean lecithin. Extended semen was loaded into 0.25 ml French straws, cooled and frozen in liquid nitrogen vapor. Total motility, curvilinear velocity, plasma membrane integrity and fertilizing ability of sperm were assessed after thawing. Total mo- tility was lower (p<0.05) in tris-soybean lecithin extender when compared to other extenders. Curvilinear velocity was higher (p<0.05) for spermatozoa cryopreserved in milk-soybean lecithin extender compared to other extenders tested. For the percentage of live sperm no significant difference was observed between extenders. The lambing rate were higher (not statistically signifi- cant) in ewes inseminated with semen doses frozen in milk-soybean lecithin extender (42.9%) than in the tris-egg yolk extender (16.7%). In conclusion, replacing the egg yolk with soybean lecithin was effective in milk but not in tris extender.
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