An Overview of Artificial Insemination: A Journey from Past to Present

Prachi Sharma *

Department of Veterinary Gynaecology and Obstetrics, College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, Kamdhenu University Anand, 388001, Gujarat, India.

Damini Arya

Department of Veterinary Gynaecology and Obstetrics, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, G B Pant University of Agri. & Tech.Pantnagar-263145, Uttarakhand, India.

Anjali Arya

Department of Livestock Production Management, College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, Kamdhenu University Anand, 388001, Gujarat, India.

Shilpa Doultani

Department of Zoology, Gujarat University, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad, Gujarat-380009, India.

K. K. Hadiya

Department of Veterinary Gynaecology and Obstetrics, College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, Kamdhenu University Anand, 388001, Gujarat, India.

L.B. George

Department of Zoology, Gujarat University, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad, Gujarat-380009, India.

H. N. Highland

Department of Zoology, Gujarat University, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad, Gujarat-380009, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Artificial insemination (AI) has a rich history spanning centuries, beginning with early experiments in plant and animal reproduction. This article traces the development of AI from its earliest recorded instances in 1322 A.D. to modern-day advancements. Notable pioneers such as Spallanzani, Hunter, and Ivanoff contributed significantly to the evolution of AI techniques. The introduction of AI across various animal species, including cattle, horses, sheep, goats, pigs, and poultry, revolutionized breeding practices worldwide. Key milestones include the development of semen extenders, the invention of artificial vaginas for semen collection, and the advent of cryopreservation techniques. Moreover, advancements in sperm quality assessment and estrous synchronization further enhanced AI efficiency. The introduction of sexed semen technology has provided a means to control offspring gender, offering new avenues for genetic selection. Overall, AI has played a crucial role in improving livestock genetics, disease control, and reproductive efficiency, making significant contributions to agricultural productivity and sustainability.

Keywords: Artificial Insemination, estrous, livestock, selection, semen, extender

How to Cite

Sharma, P., Arya, D., Arya, A., Doultani, S., Hadiya, K. K., George, L., & Highland, H. N. (2024). An Overview of Artificial Insemination: A Journey from Past to Present. Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, 30(6), 449–458.


Download data is not yet available.


Foote RH. The history of artificial insemination: Selected notes and notables1. J Anim Sci. 2002;80:1-10.

Leeuwenhoek AV. De natis esemine genitali animalculis. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, 1678; 12:1040-1043.

Spallanzani L. Dissertations relative to the natural history of animals and vegetables Vol.2. J. Murray, London; 1784.

Ivanoff, EI. On the use of artificial insemination for zootechnical purposes in Russia. J Agri Sci. 1922;12(3):244-256.

Milovanov VK. Artificial Insemination of Livestock in the U.S.S.R. Trans. By Birron A and Cole ZS. Washington, DC: S Monson, Jerusalem Tech. Services, , US Dept Commerce; 1964.

Nishikawa Y. Semen properties and artificial insemination in horses. Studies on Reproduction in Horses. Kyoto Japan: Koei. 1959;208.

Sørensen E. Insemination with gelatinized semen in paraffined cellophane tubes. Medlernsbl. Danske Dyrlaegeforen. 1940; 23:166-169.

Ombelet WJ, Robays V. Artificial insemination history: hurdles and milestones. Facts, views & vision in ObGyn. 2015;7(2):137.

Cassou R. La méthode des paillettes en plastique adaptée a la généralisation de la congélation. In Fifth International Congress on Animal Reproduction and Artificial Insemination, 1964;4:540-546.

Anderson J. The Semen of Animals and its Use for Artificial Insemination. Tech. Comm. Imperial Bureau of Animal Breeding Genetics, Edinburgh; 1945.

Maule MJ. The Semen of Animals and Artificial Insemination. Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux, Farnham Royal, U.K; 1962.

Salisbury GW, VanDemark NL, Lodge JR. Physiology of reproduction and artificial insemination of cattle. 2nd ed. San Francisco: WH Freeman and Co; 1978.

Graham EF. Fundamentals of the preservation of spermatozoa. In: The Integrity of Frozen Spermatozoa. Proc Conf Natl Acad Sci. 1978;4-44.

Pace MM, Sullivan JJ, Elliott FI, Graham EF, Coulter GH. Effects of thawing temperature, number of spermatozoa, and spermatozoal quality on fertility of bovine spermatozoa packaged in .5 ml French straws. J Anim Sci. 1981;53:693-701.

Garner DL, Thomas CA, Joerg HW, DeJarnett JM, Marshall CE. Fluorometric assessments of mitochondrial function and viability in cryopreserved bovine spermatozoa. Biol Reprod. 1997;57:1401-1406.

Foote RH. Artificial Insemination to Cloning: Tracing 50 Years of Research. Published by the author, Ithaca, New York; 1998.

Saacke RG, Marshall CE. Observations on the acrosomal cap of fixed and unfixed bovine spermatozoa. J Reprod Fertil. 1968;16:511-514.

Barth AD, Oko RJ. Abnormal morphology of bovine spermatozoa. Iowa State University Press, Ames; 1989

Saacke RG. Components of semen quality. J Anim Sci. 1981;55:1-13.

Foote RH. Artificial insemination from its origins up to today. In: V. Russo, S. Dall ’Olio, and L. Fontanesi (ed.) Proc. of the Spallanzani Int. Symp., Reggio Emilia, Italy. 1999;23–67.

Beatty BA. Fertility of mixed semen from different rabbits. J Reprod Fertil. 1960;1: 52-60.

Dziuk PJ. Review: Factors that influence the proportion of offspring sired by a male following heterospermic insemination. Anim Reprod Sci. 1996; 43:65-88.

Thompson AW, Salisbury GW. A suggested procedure for the establishment of standard and comparable breeding efficiency reports in artificial breeding. Mimeo. Pub. 1, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; 1947.

Cuche E, Marquet P, Depeursinge C. Simultaneous amplitude-contrast and quantitative phase-contrast microscopy by numerical reconstruction of Fresnel off-axis holograms. Applied optics. 1999;38(34): 6994-7001.

Kuster C. Sperm concentration determination between hemacytometric and CASA systems: Why they can be different. Theriogenology. 2005;64(3):614-617.

Christensen P, Hansen C, Liboriussen T, Lehn-Jensen H. Implementation of flow cytometry for quality control in four Danish bull studs. Anim Reprod Sci. 2005;85(3-4):201-208.

Anzar M, Kroetsch M, Buhr MM. Comparison of different methods for assessment of sperm concentration and membrane integrity with bull semen. J Androl. 2009;30(6):661-668.

Vantman D, Banks SM, Koukoulis G, Dennison L, Sherins RJ. Assessment of sperm motion characteristics from fertile and infertile men using a fully automated computer-assisted semen analyzer. Fertility and sterility. 1989;51(1):156-161.

Günzel-Apel AR, Günther C, Terhaer P, Bader H. Computer-assisted analysis of motility, velocity and linearity of dog spermatozoa. J Reprod fert Supp. 1993; 47:271-278.

Phillips PH, and Lardy HA. A yolk-buffer pabulum for the preservation of bull semen. J Dairy Sci. 1940;23:399-404.

Foote RH, Bratton RW. The fertility of bovine semen cooled with and without the addition of citrate-sulfanilamide yolk extender. J Dairy Sci. 1949;32:856-861.

Almquist RH, Glantz PJ, Shaffer HE. The effect of a combination of penicillin and streptomycin upon the livability and bacterial content of bovine semen. J Dairy Sci. 1949;32:183-190.

Thacker DL, Almquist JO. Diluters for bovine semen. I. Fertility and motility of bovine spermatozoa in boiled milk. J Dairy Sci. 1953;36(2):173-180.

O’dell WT, Almquist JO. Freezing bovine semen. I. Techniques for freezing bovine spermatozoa in milk diluents. J Dairy Sci. 1957;40(12):1534-1541.

Almquist JO, Wickersham EW. Diluents for bovine semen. XII. Fertility and motility of spermatozoa in skim milk with various levels of glycerol and methods of glycerolization. J Dairy Sci. 1962;45:782-787.

Musgrave RWD, Dunn HO, Foote RH. Causes and prevention of reproductive failures in dairy cattle. II. Influence of underfeeding and overfeeding from birth to 80 weeks of age on growth, sexual development, and semen production of Holstein bulls. Cornell Univ. Agric Exp Sta Bull. 940, Ithaca. 1959;1–45.

Foote RH. Research techniques to study reproductive physiology in the male. Techniques and Procedures in Animal Science Research. Am Soc Anim Prod. Albany, New York; 1969;81-110.

Amann RP. Sperm production rates. In: A. D. Johnson, W. R. Gomes, and N. L. Van Demark (ed.) The Testis. 1970;1:443-482.

Polge C, Smith AU, Parkes AS. Revival of spermatozoa after vitrification and dehydration at low temperatures. Nature, London; 1949;164:666.

Polge C. Frozen semen and the AI Programme in Great Britain. In Proc. 2nd Tech. Conf. Artif Insem Reprod. NAAB, Columbia; 1968;46-51.

Davis IS, Bratton RW, Foote RH. Livability of bovine spermatozoa at 5, −25, and −85°C in tris-buffered and citrate buffered yolk-glycerol extenders. J Dairy Sci. 1963; 46:333-336.

Foote RH. Artificial Insemination to Cloning: Tracing 50 Years of Research. Published by the author, Ithaca, New York. 1988.

Trimberger GW. Breeding efficiency in dairy cattle from artificial insemination at various intervals before and after ovulation. Nebraska Agric Exp Sta Bull Lincoln. 1948;153:26.

Hansel W, Convey EM. Physiology of the estrous cycle. J Anim Sci. 1983; 57(2):404-424.

Rowson LEA. The role of reproductive research in animal production. J Reprod Fertil. 1971;26:113-126.

Gledhill BL. Cytometry of mammalian sperm. Gamete Res. 1985;12:423-438.

Johnson LA, Flook JP, Hawk HW. Sex preselection in rabbits: live births from X and Y sperm separated by DNA and cell sorting. Biol Reprod. 1989;41(2):199-203.

Penfold LM, Holt C, Holt WV, Welh GL, Cran DG, Johnson LA. Comparative motility of X and Y chromosome–bearing bovine sperm separated on the basis of DNA content by flow sorting. Mol Reprod Dev. 1998;50(3):323-327.

Garner DL, Seidel GE. History of commercializing sexed semen for cattle. Theriogenology. 2008;69(7):886-895.

Garner DL. Hoechst 33342: the dye that enabled differentiation of living X-and Y-chromosome bearing mammalian sperm. Theriogenology. 2009;71(1):11-21.

Sharma P, Hadiya KK. Technologies for Separation of ‘X’ and ‘Y’ Spermatozoa in Bovines: An Overview. Ind J Vet Sci Biotech. 2023;19(5):1-10.

McKenzie FF. A method for collection of boar semen. J Anim Vet Med Assoc. 1931; 78:244-246.

Ito T, Niwa T, Kudo A. Studies on artificial insemination in swine. Zootech Exp Sta Res Bull. 1948;55:1-74.

Polge, C. The development of artificial insemination service for pigs. In Anim. Breed Abstr. 1956;24:209-217.

Iritani A. Problems of freezing spermatozoa of different species. In: Proc. 9th Int. Congr. Anim Reprod Artif Insemin. Madrid, Spain. 1980;1:115-131.

Watson PF, Behan, JR. Intrauterine insemination of sows with reduced sperm numbers: results of a commercially based field trial. Theriogenology. 2002;57(6): 1683-1693.

McKenzie FF, Lasley JF, Phillips RW. The storage of horse and swine semen. Anim Sci J. 1939;(1):222-225.

Berliner VR. Dilutors for stallion and jack semen. J. Ani. Sci. 1942;1(4):314-319.

Gunn RMC. Fertility in Sheep. CSIRO Bull. 1936; 94, Melbourne, Australia.

Corteel JM. Collection, processing and artificial insemination of goat semen. Goat Prod. 1981;171-191.

Salamon S, Maxwell WMC. Frozen storage of ram semen II. Causes of low fertility after cervical insemination and methods of improvement. Anim Reprod Sci. 1995; 38(1-2):1-36.

Maxwell WMC, Watson PF. Recent progress in the preservation of ram semen. Anim Reprod Sci. 1996;42(1-4):55-65.

Amoah EA, Gelaye S. Biotechnological advances in goat reproduction. J Anim Sci. 1997;75(2):578-585.

Burrows WH, Quinn JP. The collection of spermatozoa from domestic fowl and turkey. Poult Sci. 1937;16(1):19-24.

Sexton TJ. Preservation of poultry semen-a review. Anim Reprod. 1979;159-170.

Lake PE. The history and future of the cryopreservation of avian germ plasm. Poult Sci. 1986;65(1):1-15.

Donoghue AM, Wishart GJ. Storage of poultry semen. Anim Reprod Sci. 2000; 62(1-3):213-232.

Perry GA, Patterson D. Determining reproductive fertility in herd bulls. University Extension, University of Missouri--Columbia; 2001.