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Time of response to hormonal treatment but not the type of a spawning agent affects the reproductive effectiveness in domesticated pikeperch, Sander lucioperca

Żarski, Daniel, Fontaine, Pascal, Roche, Jennifer, Alix, Maud, Blecha, Miroslav, Broquard, Coralie, Król, Jarosław, Milla, Sylvain
Aquaculture 2019 v.503 pp. 527-536
Sander lucioperca, breeding stock, egg quality, eggs, gonadotropin-releasing hormone, hatching, human chorionic gonadotropin, ovulation, recirculating aquaculture systems, reproductive performance, salmon, spawning, wild fish
Improving reproductive protocols is one crucial step towards aquaculture expansion of pikeperch (Sander lucioperca), which is still characterised by variable and/or low spawning effectiveness. One of the main challenges is to synchronise ovulation at a precisely planned time with a consistently satisfactory reproductive outcome. To this end, the present study examined the effect of different spawning agents (human chorionic gonadotropin [hCG] and salmon gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogue [sGnRHa]) with different doses and application modes (including double injection). The study covered three consecutive spawning seasons, which corresponded to three distinct experiments, where domesticated pikeperch broodstock, commercially grown in a recirculating aquaculture system, was used. In the first year of the study, the effect of different doses of sGnRHa (10, 25 and 50 μg kg−1) and hCG (250, 500 and 1000 IU kg−1) on the reproductive performance of the domesticated broodstock was evaluated. The results were also compared with literature data for wild fish. During the second and third years, typical indicators of spawning performance (ovulation rate, latency time and egg quality) were followed when a double sGnRHa injection was compared to a single 50 μg kg−1 or 500 IU kg−1 injection of sGnRHa or hCG, respectively; the best results were obtained in the first and second experiments. The results of the present study clearly indicate that various hormonal treatments effectively induced domesticated pikeperch ovulation, although highly variable egg quality was observed throughout the three spawning seasons (maximum hatching rates were 60.6 ± 11.5, 37.7 ± 28.9 and 49.1 ± 24.7% in the first, second and third years of the study, respectively). However, additional analysis of the data from the entire study revealed for the first time that a significant proportion of the lower-quality eggs came from fish that responded ‘early’ to hormonal treatment (<120 h after injection) regardless of the hormone used. This group represented approximately 40% of the population each year. Further, most of the fish that responded to hormone treatment early exhibited this trait during all three consecutive spawning seasons. This finding indicates that early hormone response is a potential selection trait. The present study showed that controlled domesticated pikeperch broodstock reproduction may involve application of either hCG or sGnRHa, with no clear difference in their effectiveness, although the recommended doses are 500 IU kg−1 and 50 μg kg−1, respectively.