Viability of milkfish eggs and larvae after simulated and actual transport
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The viability of milkfish eggs and larvae after simulated and actual transport was investigated. Naturally-spawned milkfish eggs were collected and subjected to simulated or actual transport at early cleavage stage (stage 1), blastula (stage 2), gastrula (stage 3), "eyed" (stage 4), or newly-hatched larvae (stage 5). Replicate samples in aerated plastic jars served as controls. Mean hatching and survival rates and the percentage of newly-hatched larvae were significantly affected by the modes of transport and by the stage of embryonic development at transport. Eggs transported at the 'eyed' stage had higher viability compared to those transported at cleavage, blastula, or gastrula stages. There was no significant difference in the mean survival rate of the larvae after 26 days of rearing. However, the percentage of 45 day old larvae with apparent morphological abnormalities was lower in groups transported at stages 4 and 5. These observations indicate that milkfish eggs should be handled and transported during the late embryonic stages to minimize mortalities and the incidence of abnormalities in larvae.
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