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Effects of pre-incubation of eggs in fresh water and varying sperm concentration on fertilization rate in sterlet sturgeon, Acipenser ruthenus

Siddique, Mohammad Abdul Momin, Butts, Ian Anthony Ernest, Psenicka, Martin, Linhart, Otomar
Animal reproduction science 2015 v.159 pp. 141-147
Acipenser ruthenus, eggs, freshwater, sperm concentration, spermatozoa, transmission electron microscopy
Standardization of fertilization protocols for sterlet Acipenser ruthenus is crucial for improving reproductive techniques and for conservation purposes. Our objectives were to determine the number of sperm (tested 430,000:1, 43,000:1, 4300:1, 430:1 sperm to egg) required to fertilize eggs and explore how pre-incubation of eggs in freshwater for 0min, 0.5min, 1min, and 10min interacts with different sperm ratios. Fertilization success ranged from 29.7% at 430:1 to 84.2% at 430,000:1. Pre-incubation time had no effect on fertilization success at 430,000:1 and 43,000:1 sperm to egg ratios, while it was significant at the 4300:1 and 430:1 ratios. The use of adequate experimental suboptimal sperm to egg ratio revealed a positive effect of pre-incubation time, such that at the 430:1 ratio, 0.5min pre-incubation increased the fertilization rate than 10min. At 0min pre-incubation the proportion of fertilized eggs increased at the 430,000:1 ratio, while at 1min fertilization increased at the 4300:1 ratio. At the 10min pre-incubation time, fertilization increased at the 43,000:1 ratio. Moreover, at the 0.5min pre-incubation time, the 43,000:1 ratio increased the fertilization rate than the 430:1 ratio. Generally, for 430:1 ratio, the fertilization rate is lower than in control. Transmission electron microscopy showed that pre-incubation of eggs in water for <10min does not trigger a cortical reaction or the formation of a perivitelline space. Results suggest that with a low sperm to egg ratio 0.5 to 1min pre-incubation of eggs in freshwater prior to fertilization can enhance fertilization rate of sterlet.