Sexual Maturation and Spawning in Fish

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Aquatic Animals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 April 2024) | Viewed by 6672

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, Università degli Studi di Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy
Interests: reproductive biology of aquatic animals; systematic zoology and zoogeography; demersal fisheries data collection

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Cagliari, Via T. Fiorelli, 1, 09126 Cagliari, Italy
Interests: reproduction; histology; anatomy; elasmobranchs
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

Understanding drivers of fish maturity is essential to predict the productivity, stability, and resiliency of exploited populations. The descriptions of reproductive strategies and the assessment of fecundity are fundamental topics in the study of the biology of fish species. Studies on reproduction—including the assessment of size at maturity, fecundity, duration of reproductive season, daily spawning behavior and spawning fraction—permit the quantification of the reproductive capacity of individual fish. This information in combination with estimates in egg production at sea enable the estimation of spawning stock biomass.

For this Special Issue, we invite contributions that investigate sexual maturation and spawning in male and female bony and the least known cartilaginous fish, considering different reproductive modes from the oviparity to viviparity, spawning patterns (total and batch spawners) and dynamic organization of ovaries, through several approaches such as histology of the gonads.

Papers on fish reproductive traits, such as size at maturity and fecundity and their temporal or spatial changes, are welcomed, providing basic information for stock management. Moreover, papers focusing on the male contribution in the mating and reproductive fitness of fish such as male fertility, parental care, or immune function are appreciated.

Topics may include, but are not limited to, species inhabiting coastal waters, transitional waters (e.g., freshwaters), oceans, deep seas, and pelagic and bottom environments.

I send my best wishes as I look forward to receiving your proposals.

Dr. Maria Cristina Follesa
Dr. Cristina Porcu
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • fish reproduction
  • sexual maturation
  • fish fecundity
  • spawning
  • histology of the gonads
  • parental care
  • immune function

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 7854 KiB  
Article
Potential Implications of Acid-Sensing Ion Channels ASIC2 and ASIC4 in Gonadal Differentiation of Dicentrarchus labrax Subjected to Water Temperature Increase during Gonadal Development
by Kamel Mhalhel, Rosaria Arena, Maria Rizzo, Giuseppe Piccione, Marialuisa Aragona, Maria Levanti, Francesca Aragona and Francesca Arfuso
Animals 2024, 14(7), 1024; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14071024 - 27 Mar 2024
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 749
Abstract
In this study, the expression and implication of acid-sensing ion channels 2 and 4 (ASIC2 and ASIC4) in the gonadal sex differentiation of Dicentrarchus labrax (D. labrax), subjected to increasing water temperatures during gonadal development, were evaluated. Two groups were selected: [...] Read more.
In this study, the expression and implication of acid-sensing ion channels 2 and 4 (ASIC2 and ASIC4) in the gonadal sex differentiation of Dicentrarchus labrax (D. labrax), subjected to increasing water temperatures during gonadal development, were evaluated. Two groups were selected: a control group (CG), in which the average water temperature was maintained at 15 °C and increased to 20 °C in 20 days until weaning; and an experimental group (EG), in which the water temperature was retained at 15 °C for 60 days; thereafter, the temperature was increased daily by 0.5 °C until it reached 20 °C up to the weaning time. Ten fish from the CG and 13 fish from the EG were sampled randomly on the 335th day after hatching (dph). A higher percentage of gonad differentiation in ovaries rather than in testes was observed in the EG compared to the CG (p = 0.01). ASIC2 and ASIC4 were detected for the first time in D. labrax ovaries by indirect immunofluorescence. Both ASIC2 and ASIC4 were expressed in previtellogenic oocytes of ovaries and in scattered cells within some testes, and were most likely intratesticular previtellogenic oocytes in both the CG and EG groups. The CG group showed a higher expression of ASIC4 than the EG cohort (p < 0.05). The results gathered in this study revealed the capacity of water temperature to influence both gonadal differentiation and growth in this gonochoristic fish species, and suggests the possible role of ASIC2 and ASIC4 in gonad differentiation and gamete development in D. labrax. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sexual Maturation and Spawning in Fish)
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15 pages, 2475 KiB  
Article
The Reproductive Biology of Puye (Galaxias maculatus) under Experimental Culture
by Leydy Sandoval-Vargas, Maritza Pérez-Atehortúa, Elías Figueroa Villalobos, José Zamorano and Iván Valdebenito
Animals 2024, 14(2), 320; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14020320 - 19 Jan 2024
Viewed by 876
Abstract
This study determines the reproductive patterns of puye (Galaxias maculatus) under culture conditions. A population of 567 wild fish was caught in the Cautín River, Chile, and held in captivity for four years. Mortality, sex ratio, gonadosomatic index (GSI), sexual maturity [...] Read more.
This study determines the reproductive patterns of puye (Galaxias maculatus) under culture conditions. A population of 567 wild fish was caught in the Cautín River, Chile, and held in captivity for four years. Mortality, sex ratio, gonadosomatic index (GSI), sexual maturity stages, spawning period, type and frequency of spawning, and fecundity were measured. The fish grew throughout the experimental period, with the fastest rate during the first half of the first year of life. The highest mortality occurred during the first three months of the experiment and during the spawning season. The sex ratio was almost 1:1 (female:male). First sexual maturity was reached at one year of age, with an average weight of 0.85 ± 0.01 g, total length of 4.85 ± 0.16 cm, and condition factor 0.0074. The highest GSI in both females (12.14 ± 0.74) and males (17.7 ± 2.70) was recorded in August. Nevertheless, the females spawned 3 to 10 times between September and February, with the highest reproductive peak between September and October. The number of embryos per female per day varied from 1 to 429, while the total number of embryos per female during the entire season evaluated varied from 163 to 1044. There was a high correlation (r = 0.82) between absolute fecundity and body weight. Although further studies are needed in this field, these results are basic for establishing future reproductive programs in captivity as a strategy for sustainable fisheries and aquaculture management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sexual Maturation and Spawning in Fish)
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16 pages, 2399 KiB  
Article
Decline in Size-at-Maturity of European Hake in Relation to Environmental Regimes: A Case in the Eastern Ionian Sea
by Aglaia Legaki, Archontia Chatzispyrou, Dimitrios Damalas, Vasiliki Sgardeli, Evgenia Lefkaditou, Aikaterini Anastasopoulou, Aikaterini Dogrammatzi, Konstantinos Charalampous, Caterina Stamouli, Vassiliki Vassilopoulou, George Tserpes and Chryssi Mytilineou
Animals 2024, 14(1), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14010061 - 23 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1285
Abstract
European hake, Merluccius merluccius L. 1758, is a highly valuable demersal fish species exploited in both the east Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea. Changes in the size-at-maturity of this species have been reported in various geographic areas. Size-at-maturity is a key parameter in [...] Read more.
European hake, Merluccius merluccius L. 1758, is a highly valuable demersal fish species exploited in both the east Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea. Changes in the size-at-maturity of this species have been reported in various geographic areas. Size-at-maturity is a key parameter in fishery management. Our main goal was to study the trend of the size-at-maturity of European hake in the eastern Ionian Sea (Central Mediterranean) over the last five decades. Utilizing a multi-decadal series of data for various environmental variables, we employed multivariate analyses and non-additive modeling in an attempt to identify shifts in the climatic environment of the eastern Ionian Sea and whether the maturation of the hake population could be affected by these changes. The analyses used suggest a plausible environmental regime shift in the study area in the late 1990s/early 2000s. The decrease in size-at-maturity that was detected in the last two decades may, thus, be associated with environmental changes. However, as many fish stocks already experience fishery-induced evolution, further investigation is necessary to determine whether this environmental effect is an additional stressor on a possibly already fishery-impacted population. The outcomes of this study highlight the importance of investigating the relationship between fish reproductive traits and altered environmental conditions, as the latter are generally ignored during assessments, affecting the robustness of fishery management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sexual Maturation and Spawning in Fish)
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17 pages, 11866 KiB  
Article
Ovary of Zebrafish during Spawning Season: Ultrastructure and Immunohistochemical Profiles of Sox9 and Myostatin
by Dalia Mohamedien, Doaa M. Mokhtar, Nada Abdellah, Mahmoud Awad, Marco Albano and Ramy K. A. Sayed
Animals 2023, 13(21), 3362; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13213362 - 29 Oct 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1627
Abstract
This study sought to examine the ovarian cellular and stromal components of the zebrafish (Danio rerio) throughout the spawning season using light and electron microscopic tools. The ovaries of zebrafish showed oocytes in all stages of follicular development and degeneration (atresia). [...] Read more.
This study sought to examine the ovarian cellular and stromal components of the zebrafish (Danio rerio) throughout the spawning season using light and electron microscopic tools. The ovaries of zebrafish showed oocytes in all stages of follicular development and degeneration (atresia). Six stages of oogenesis were demonstrated: oogonia, early oocytes, late oocytes, vacuolated follicles, the yolk globule stage (vitellogenesis), and mature follicles. The SOX9 protein was expressed in the ooplasm of the primary and previtellogenic oocytes and the theca cell layer of the mature follicles. Myostatin was expressed in the granulosa and theca cells. Many stem cells in the ovarian stroma expressed myostatin and SOX9. During the spawning season, the EM results indicated that the zona radiata increased in thickness and was crossed perpendicularly by pore canals that contained processes from both oocytes and zona granulosa. The granulosa cells contained many mitochondria, rER, sER, and vesicles. Meanwhile, the thecal layer consisted of fibroblast-like cells. Atretic follicles could be demonstrated that involved both oocytes and their follicular walls. Several types of cells were distinguished in the ovarian stroma, including mast cells, telocytes, lymphocytes, fibroblasts, endocrine cells, macrophages, adipocytes, dendritic cells, and steroidogenic (stromal) cells. The ovary of the zebrafish serves as a model to investigate follicular development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sexual Maturation and Spawning in Fish)
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21 pages, 4647 KiB  
Article
A Quantitative Histologic Analysis of Oogenesis in the Flatfish Species Pleuronectes platessa as a Tool for Fisheries Management
by Carine Sauger, Jérôme Quinquis, Clothilde Berthelin, Mélanie Lepoittevin, Nicolas Elie, Laurent Dubroca and Kristell Kellner
Animals 2023, 13(15), 2506; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13152506 - 3 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1258
Abstract
The following paper gives a detailed description of the oogenesis cycle for the European Plaice (Pleuronectes platessa), from oogonia to post-ovulatory follicle, including ovarian follicle and zona pellucida sizes. Noteworthy particularities were the difficulty in identifying cortical alveoli due to their [...] Read more.
The following paper gives a detailed description of the oogenesis cycle for the European Plaice (Pleuronectes platessa), from oogonia to post-ovulatory follicle, including ovarian follicle and zona pellucida sizes. Noteworthy particularities were the difficulty in identifying cortical alveoli due to their very small size. Quantitative histology (stereology) on histological slides was used to determine a first size at maturity for females from the English Channel, which was found to be smaller compared to the literature (19 cm). Stereology also determined a first spawning event starting in January, with a peak in February and ongoing until March. Moreover, the use of stereology showed misclassifications for individuals categorized into a maturity phase using a macroscopic visual method. Misclassifications were found with individuals that had spawned (D) but were put under the immature (A) phase, and individuals in development (B) classified under D. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sexual Maturation and Spawning in Fish)
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