Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 91–97 | Cite as

Chromosomal scan of single sperm cells by combining fluorescence-activated cell sorting and next-generation sequencing

  • Quoc Ty Tran
  • Tatjana Jatsenko
  • Olev Poolamets
  • Olga Tšuiko
  • Dmitri Lubenets
  • Tiia Reimand
  • Margus Punab
  • Maire PetersEmail author
  • Andres Salumets
Technological Innovations



The purpose of this study was to develop a feasible approach for single sperm isolation and chromosome analysis by next-generation sequencing (NGS).


Single sperm cells were isolated from semen samples of normozoospermic male and an infertile reciprocal translocation (RcT) carrier with the 46,XY,t(7;13)(p12;q12.1) karyotype using the optimized fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) technique. Genome profiling was performed using NGS.


Following whole-genome amplification, NGS, and quality control, the final chromosome analysis was performed on 31 and 6 single cell samples derived from the RcT carrier and normozoospermic male, respectively. All sperm cells from normozoospermic male showed a normal haploid 23-chromosome profile. For the RcT carrier, the sequencing data revealed that 64.5% of sperm cells harbored different variants of chromosome aberrations, involving deletion of 7p or 7q, duplication of 7p, and duplication of 13q, which is concordant with the expected chromosome segregation patterns observed in balanced translocation carriers. In one sample, a duplication of 9q was also detected.


We optimized FACS protocol for simple and efficient isolation of single human sperm cells that subsequently enabled a successful genome-wide chromosome profiling and identification of segmental aneuploidies from these individual cells, following NGS analysis. This approach may be useful for analyzing semen samples of infertile men or chromosomal aberration carriers to facilitate the reproductive risk assessment.


Single sperm genomic analysis Reciprocal translocation Fluorescence-activated cell sorting Whole-genome amplification Next-generation sequencing 



We would like to thank the study participants who enrolled in the study.

Funding information

This study was funded by the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research (IUT34-16), Enterprise Estonia (EU48695), and the Horizon 2020 innovation program (WIDENLIFE, 692065).

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee of the University of Tartu, Estonia (approval no. 267/T-2), and written informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Quoc Ty Tran
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Tatjana Jatsenko
    • 1
  • Olev Poolamets
    • 4
  • Olga Tšuiko
    • 1
  • Dmitri Lubenets
    • 5
  • Tiia Reimand
    • 2
    • 6
  • Margus Punab
    • 4
  • Maire Peters
    • 1
    • 7
    Email author
  • Andres Salumets
    • 1
    • 2
    • 7
    • 8
  1. 1.Competence Centre on Health TechnologiesTartuEstonia
  2. 2.Institute of Biomedicine and Translational MedicineUniversity of TartuTartuEstonia
  3. 3.Danang University of Medical Technology and PharmacyDa NangVietnam
  4. 4.Andrology CentreTartu University HospitalTartuEstonia
  5. 5.Institute of Molecular and Cell BiologyUniversity of TartuTartuEstonia
  6. 6.Department of Clinical GeneticsTartu University HospitalTartuEstonia
  7. 7.Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Institute of Clinical MedicineUniversity of TartuTartuEstonia
  8. 8.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniversity of Helsinki and Helsinki University HospitalHelsinkiFinland

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