Browsing by Author "Elizur, Abigail"
Gonadal response of juvenile protogynous grouper (Epinephelus fuscoguttatus) to long term recombinant follicle-stimulating hormone administration P Palma, J Nocillado, J Superio, EGdJ Ayson, F Ayson, I Bar & A Elizur -
Biology of Reproduction, 2019 - Oxford University PressThe role of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) in the gonadal development of protogynous hermaphroditic grouper (E. fuscoguttatus) was investigated. Recombinant giant grouper (E. lanceolatus) FSH (rggFSH) was produced in yeast. Its receptor binding capacity and steroidogenic potency were confirmed in vitro. Weekly injections of rggFSH to juvenile tiger grouper for 8 weeks (100 μg/kg body weight, BW) resulted in significantly larger and more advanced oocytes (cortical alveolar stage vs. primary growth stage in control). Sustained treatment with rggFSH (20 to 38 weeks at 200 μg/kg BW) resulted in significant reduction in gonad size, degeneration of oocytes and proliferation of spermatogonial cells, indicative of female to male sex change. Gene expression analysis showed that, while initiating female to male sex change, the rggFSH significantly suppressed the steroidogenic genes cyp11b, cyp19a1a and foxl2 which restrained the endogenous production of sex steroid hormones thus prevented the differentiation of spermatogonial cells. Expression profile of sex markers dmrt1, amh, figla and bmp15 suggests that the observed sex change was restricted at the initiation stage. Based on these results, we propose that the process of female to male sex change in the protogynous grouper is initiated by FSH, rather than sex steroids and likely involves steroid-independent pathway. The cortical alveolar stage in oocyte development is the critical point after which FSH-induced sex change is possible in grouper.
ArticleP Palma, A Takemura, GX Libunao, J Superio, EG de Jesus-Ayson, F Ayson, J Nocillado, L Dennis, J Chan, TQ Thai, NH Ninh & A Elizur -
Aquaculture, 2019 - ElsevierThe giant grouper is presumed to follow the reproductive pattern of most Epinephelus species, characterized by protogynous hermaphroditism wherein male maturation is attained through sex reversal of a functional female. This hypothesis, however, has not been verified due to lack of biological data. The present study addresses this gap by investigating the reproductive development of giant groupers from juvenile stage through sexual maturity. Gonad histological analysis of hatchery-bred juvenile giant grouper from Queensland, Australia (0.8–5.2 kg, n = 43) have shown earliest occurrence of primary oocytes (i.e. ovarian differentiation) in 47.8 cm and 2.5 kg fish. Monitoring of sexual maturity by gonadal biopsy was performed in a stock of wild-caught giant groupers (2–52 kg) held in sea cages in the Philippines and Vietnam from 2015 to 2017. Onset of female sexual maturity was at 96.9 ± 1.6 cm and 23.5 ± 1.5 kg in the Philippines, and 103.0 ± 4.1 cm and 33.5 ± 2.5 kg in Vietnam. In both locations, development of primary males was observed wherein fish produced milt (or spermiated) without passing through a functional female phase. The ratio of primary males to females in both locations was about 1:2. Size at maturity of primary males is 86.5 ± 4.8 cm and 17.1 ± 2.1 kg in the Philippines, and 97.3 ± 1.3 cm and 34.3 ± 0.9 kg in Vietnam. To aid in the monitoring of female maturation, we developed a non-invasive method based on immunoassay of vitellogenin in skin mucus and this was shown to be effective in detecting female maturation 9 ± 2 months prior to first observation of oocytes through gonadal biopsy. Our findings suggest that giant grouper is a diandric protogynous hermaphrodite. This study provides novel information on the reproductive biology of giant grouper, an economically important and vulnerable species.