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Greenland halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides) spawn annually but successive cohorts of oocytes develop over 2 years, complicating correct assessment of maturity

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Ovary development in Greenland halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides) is complex, with several cohorts of developing oocytes present during vitellogenesis; this is unusual for a determinate spawner. There are also speculations that Greenland halibut are not capable of spawning every year. To investigate this possibility, ovaries from Greenland halibut caught throughout the year were examined histologically, and successive cohorts of oocytes were tracked through development. Results showed that the initial maturation of the ovaries from immature to spawning takes more than 1year. The ovary initially develops as far as early vitellogenesis; however, the time scale for this is unclear. During the final year of development, the cohort of vitellogenic oocytes splits to form two cohorts; the larger cohort increases in size and is spawned in the coming spawning season. The smaller cohort also continues to develop, but at a much lower rate, in preparation for development for spawning in the following year. Within each month, there is a large range of oocyte sizes between fish; this leads to the extended spawning season that is known in many populations of this species. This complicates the assessment of maturity, and a more accurate microscopic maturity scale is proposed.

Le développement ovarien chez le flétan du Groenland (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides) est un phénomène complexe car il y a plusieurs cohortes d'oocytes en maturation durant la vitellogenèse; cela est inhabituel chez un poisson à reproduction déterminée. On soupçonne aussi que le flétan du Groenland n'est pas capable de frayer chaque année. Afin de vérifier cette possibilité, nous avons étudié l'histologie des ovaires de flétans du Groenland capturés au long de l'année et nous avons suivi les différentes cohortes d'oocytes au cours de leur développement. La maturation initiale des ovaires du stade immature à la fraie requiert plus de 1année. L'ovaire se développe initialement jusqu'au début de la vitellogenèse, mais l'échelle temporelle de cette étape n'est pas claire. Durant la dernière année du développement, la cohorte des oocytes vitellogènes se divise en deux cohortes; la cohorte des oocytes plus grands augmente en taille et est pondue durant la période de reproduction suivante; la cohorte des oocytes plus petits continue aussi à se développer, mais à un rythme beaucoup plus lent, en vue d'une maturation pour la fraie des années subséquentes. À chaque mois, il y a une grande étendue de tailles d'oocytes chez les divers poissons, ce qui a pour conséquence la saison de reproduction prolongée qu'on connaît chez plusieurs populations de cette espèce. Cela complique l'évaluation de la maturité et nous proposons une échelle microscopique de maturité plus précise.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2011

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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