Marine Biology

, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 255–261 | Cite as

Changes in the biochemical composition of the ovaries of the seastar Asterias rubens during its annual reproductive cycle

  • R. C. H. M. Oudejans
  • I. van der Sluis


The biochemical composition of the ovaries of the asteroid echinoderm Asterias rubens was studied, with emphasis on the changes which are manifest during the annual reproductive cycle. Ovarian dry weight displays only minor changes during ovarian development, constituting about 20% of the organ fresh weight. Levels of all constituents show some variation, but in general increase with ovarian growth. Only the free amino acid level is rather constant. Except for glycogen, the contents of other constituents (total lipids, other reducing sugars, free amino acids and proteins) show a rectilinear increase with ovarian growth. Glycogen content increases rectilinearly with time during early vitellogenesis, but remains constant during further development until ovarian maturity. By plotting constituent levels and contents against a non-linear gonad index axis rather than against sampling date, results can be correlated more easily with ovarian growth stages. The possibility of endocytosis of a vitellogenin-like yolk precursor by the ovary is discussed.


Lipid Growth Stage Total Lipid Acid Level Free Amino Acid 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. C. H. M. Oudejans
    • 1
  • I. van der Sluis
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Chemical Animal PhysiologyUniversity of UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands

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