Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 39, Issue 6, pp 1473–1484 | Cite as

Profiles of sex steroids, fecundity and spawning of a migratory characiform fish from the Paraguay–Paraná basin: a comparative study in a three-river system

  • Violeta da Rocha Perini
  • Alessandro Loureiro Paschoalini
  • Cláudia Kelly Fernandes da Cruz
  • Rita de Cássia Gimenes Alcântara de Rocha
  • José Augusto Senhorini
  • Dirceu Marzulo Ribeiro
  • Paulo Sérgio Formagio
  • Nilo Bazzoli
  • Elizete Rizzo


This study investigated for the first time the reproductive biology of Prochilodus lineatus in a system of rivers in southeastern Brasil, relating it to the role of tributary rivers in the reproductive success of this important commercial fish in the Upper Paraná River basin, where a cascade of hydroelectric dams were deployed. Specimens were caught bimonthly in three river sites: (S1) Grande River, downstream from the Porto Colômbia dam; (S2) Pardo River; and (S3) Mogi Guaçu River. Sex steroid plasma levels, fecundity, follicular atresia, oocyte diameter and gonadosomatic index (GSI) were compared among sites. In S1, fish exhibited changes in the reproductive parameters: lower GSI, oocyte diameter and fecundity and higher follicular atresia index, when compared to S2 and S3. Frequency of maturing fish was higher in S3 and spawning was only registered in S3. In sites S2 and S3, plasma concentrations of testosterone and 17β-estradiol in females and testosterone in males showed wide variations following gonadal maturation. Fish from S1 showed few significant variations in sex steroid concentrations throughout the gonadal cycle. These results indicate that P. lineatus does not reproduce in Grande River (S1), but probably uses the Pardo River (S2) as a migratory route towards the Mogi Guaçu River (S3) where they complete gonadal maturation and spawning. Our findings contribute for understanding the reproductive biology of P. lineatus and to highlight the importance of tributaries in impounded rivers as a favourable environment for migration and spawning of fish.


Testosterone 17β-estradiol 17α-hydroxyprogesterone Teleost Prochilodus lineatus 



The authors thank the fish team of the Hydrobiology and Hatchery Station of Furnas for supporting the fish collection and Stephen Latham for the English review. The research has been supported by grants from the Brasilian agencies: CNPq, FAPEMIG and CAPES.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Violeta da Rocha Perini
    • 1
  • Alessandro Loureiro Paschoalini
    • 2
  • Cláudia Kelly Fernandes da Cruz
    • 1
  • Rita de Cássia Gimenes Alcântara de Rocha
    • 3
  • José Augusto Senhorini
    • 3
  • Dirceu Marzulo Ribeiro
    • 4
  • Paulo Sérgio Formagio
    • 4
  • Nilo Bazzoli
    • 2
  • Elizete Rizzo
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Morfologia, Instituto de Ciências BiológicasUniversidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrasil
  2. 2.Programa de Pós-graduação em Zoologia de VertebradosPontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrasil
  3. 3.Centro Nacional de Pesquisa e Conservação de Peixes Continentais/CEPTAInstituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da BiodiversidadePirassunungaBrasil
  4. 4.Estação de Hidrobiologia de FurnasUHE FURNASFurnasBrasil

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