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Oogenesis and Egg Quality in Finfish: Yolk Formation and Other Factors Influencing Female Fertility

Department of Applied Ecology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
Pamlico Aquaculture Field Laboratory, North Carolina State University, Aurora, NC 27806, USA
National Institute of Fisheries Science, Gijang, Busan 46083, Korea
Faculty of Fisheries Sciences, Hokkaido University, Minato, Hakodate, Hokkaido 041-8611, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Fishes 2018, 3(4), 45;
Received: 28 August 2018 / Revised: 16 November 2018 / Accepted: 16 November 2018 / Published: 21 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fish Reproductive Physiology and Aquaculture)
Egg quality in fishes has been a topic of research in aquaculture and fisheries for decades as it represents an important life history trait and is critical for captive propagation and successful recruitment. A major factor influencing egg quality is proper yolk formation, as most fishes are oviparous and the developing offspring are entirely dependent on stored egg yolk for nutritional sustenance. These maternally derived nutrients consist of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins, minerals, and ions that are transported from the liver to the ovary by lipoprotein particles including vitellogenins. The yolk composition may be influenced by broodstock diet, husbandry, and other intrinsic and extrinsic conditions. In addition, a number of other maternal factors that may influence egg quality also are stored in eggs, such as gene transcripts, that direct early embryonic development. Dysfunctional regulation of gene or protein expression may lead to poor quality eggs and failure to thrive within hours of fertilization. These gene transcripts may provide important markers as their expression levels may be used to screen broodstock for potential spawning success. In addition to such intrinsic factors, stress may lead to ovarian atresia or reproductive failure and can impact fish behavior, fecundity, and ovulation rate. Finally, postovulatory aging may occur when eggs become overripe and the fish fails to spawn in a timely fashion, leading to low fertility, often encountered during manual strip spawning of fish. View Full-Text
Keywords: egg quality; vitellogenin; aquaculture; fish; fertility; oogenesis; yolk; reproduction egg quality; vitellogenin; aquaculture; fish; fertility; oogenesis; yolk; reproduction
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Reading, B.J.; Andersen, L.K.; Ryu, Y.-W.; Mushirobira, Y.; Todo, T.; Hiramatsu, N. Oogenesis and Egg Quality in Finfish: Yolk Formation and Other Factors Influencing Female Fertility. Fishes 2018, 3, 45.

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