Marine Biology

, Volume 149, Issue 2, pp 177–187 | Cite as

Effects of the embryonic thermal environment on haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) developmental trajectories through exogenous feeding stages

  • D. J. MartellEmail author
  • J. D. Kieffer
  • E. A. Trippel
Research Article


Detailed development of haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) embryos and larvae was studied in several embryonic thermal rearing environments. Using defined reference points (landmarks), development of various tissues including muscle was mapped throughout early ontogeny. The onset of most landmarks was unaffected by temperature as a proportion of time to the initiation of exogenous feeding (standardized developmental time). However, blastopore closure, notochord vacuolation, retinal pigmentation, the appearance of blood cells, and hatching occurred later in development at lower temperatures. Appearance of the optic lumen, neural tube cavitation, and increased myofibril density per deep cell occurred earlier at lower temperatures. Changes in relative order and temporal sequence of developmental events were observed among temperature groups. Notochord (from 30 to 7% of developmental time) and eye development (from 45 to 33% developmental time) was accelerated with increased embryonic temperature, while myofibrillargenesis (from 60 to 88% developmental time) and neural tube development was similarly slowed (71–85% developmental time). The rate of gut development continued to be greater in larvae from higher incubation temperature groups beyond hatch in spite of the absence of temperature variation. Incubation temperature was found to have had a differential but significant effect on the development of various tissues and structures that affected the form and, possibly, function of exogenous feeding haddock.


Incubation Temperature Developmental Time Temperature Group Exogenous Feeding Free Embryo 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors acknowledge the financial and logistical support provided to D.J.M. and E.A.T. by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (St. Andrews Biological Station, St. Andrews, NB). Also J.D.K. thanks the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council for funding and the MADSAM fish group for continued support. We also wish to thank Drs. J. Castell and D. MacLatchy for invaluable advice and guidance on the research, E. Heikkila for her support and skilful editorial guidance, and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on the manuscript. All experimental protocols followed CCAC guidelines for the care and use of experimental animals.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fisheries and Oceans CanadaSt. Andrews Biological StationAndrewsCanada
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of New BrunswickSaint JohnCanada

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