NewTechAqua researchers studied the sex differentiation process and the resulting sex ratio of greater amberjack produced entirely under aquaculture conditions. Such analysis is essential to ensure that rearing conditions do not lead to deviations from the natural sex ratios occurring in the wild.
Abstract: The histological process of gonadal differentiation, together with the endocrine changes of sex steroid hormones and some of their precursors, was studied in hatchery-produced greater amber-jack Seriola dumerili from 101 until 408 days post-hatching (dph), with samplings conducted every 50 days. Histological processing showed that sex differentiation began at 101 dph with the formation of the ovarian cavity in females, while the presumptive males did not yet contain any germ cells in their gonad. At 150 dph, we observed the first germ cells in the developing testes. Sex differentiation in almost all sampled individuals was complete at 408 dph. No size dimorphism was observed between the sexes, and the sex ratio was 1:1, suggesting that there was no influence of early rearing in captivity on sex differentiation. Plasma concentrations of adrenosterone (Ad), androstenedione (Δ4), 11-ketotestosterone (11ΚΤ), testosterone (Τ), estradiol (Ε2), progesterone (P4) and 17,20β-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one (17,20βP) were measured in males and females with the use of liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/ MS) to examine their role in the sex differentiation process. From the seven hormones, the only one that exhibited differences between the sexes was 11-KT and the plasma 11-KT concentration was found to be a useful indication of greater amberjack sex. Variations were observed in the mean values of Ad, Δ4, 11-KT, T, P4 and 17,20βP over time in one or both sexes, indicating their involvement in the sex differentiation process.
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