Roach (Rutilus rutilus) reproductive cycle: a study of biochemical and histological parameters in a low contaminated site
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Fish reproduction is subjected to worrying trends in many aquatic environments. In this study, we report the absence of histological and biochemical alterations in fish sampled in a low contaminated site (characterised by the absence of detectable oestrogenic activity and mutagenicity in sediment extracts). A total of 474 roach (Rutilus rutilus) were monthly sampled during 18 months, and no intersex fish were recorded after careful histological examination, thus indicating that the incidence of this phenomenon may be very low under natural conditions. Furthermore, mean male plasma vitellogenin concentration was 24 ng ml−1 and was only slightly elevated during the spawning period (up to 120 ng ml−1) indicating that these low values may be characteristic of a low contaminated site. Of the male roach, 45.3% were sampled, a sex-ratio that did not significantly deviated from the expected 1:1 ratio between male and female. Results also showed that natural conditions can greatly affect the reproductive cycle of roach. Gametogenesis showed a biphasic pattern with first gonad maturation between September and December and a final maturation occurring at the end of winter/early spring. Under decreasing temperatures, particularly below 6°C, gametogenesis was stopped or even regressed with secondary oocytes becoming rare under histological observation. Conversely, elevated temperatures during the winter lead to an earlier gonad maturation.
KeywordsGametogenetic cycle Vitellogenin Roach GSI Temperature Intersex
This study was supported by the Interreg III (RAED) programme. The authors thank Dr. Abdelaziz El Haite and the members of the Laboratoire d’anatomie pathologique, Hopital J. Monod. Special thanks are due to Mr. and Mrs. Hoydrie and the Pisciculture de Venables, for their valuable help in fish collection.
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