Effect of elevated summer temperatures on gonadal steroid production, vitellogenesis and egg quality in female Atlantic salmon
Groups of Tasmanian female Atlantic salmon Salmo salar L. were maintained at 14, 18 and 22° C for 3 months from mid-summer (January). Blood plasma levels of 17β-oestradiol (E2), testosterone (T), cortisol and vitellogenin (Vtg) were measured at regular intervals, and in autumn (April) temperatures were reduced to 8° C to facilitate spawning and egg incubation. Maintenance at 22° C during vitellogenesis was associated with a general reduction in plasma E2 levels and an early reduction in plasma Vtg levels relative to those observed in fish held at 14 and 18° C. Significantly reduced oocyte diameters in ova from fish held at 22° C (5·4 mm cf. 5·7 mm) confirmed reduced maternal investment, and an increase in the incidence of previously undescribed chorion damage suggested that zonagenesis may also have been impaired. As a result, the fertility and survival of ova from fish exposed to 22° C (69 and 42%, respectively) were significantly reduced relative to those of ova from fish maintained at 14° C (93 and 86%) and 18° C (86 and 84%).
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Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: School of Aquaculture, Tasmanian Aquaculture & Fisheries Institute, University of Tasmania, Locked bag 1-370, Launceston, Tasmania 7250, Australia
Publication date: 01 July 2003