Disrupted sexual cycles in female grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) raised in tropical conditions
Glasser, F.; Cauty, C.; Mourot, B.; Breton, B.
Aquaculture 220(1/4): 857-868
In the Ivory Coast, grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) have been integrated in the tilapia-based polyculture in order to increase pond productivity. In the tropical conditions prevailing there, female cycles seemed disrupted. We describe oogenesis in these conditions using histological observations, monitoring of individual cycles with intraovarian biopsies, endocrinal monitoring (development of a specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for vitellogenin (Vg), measurement of plasma oestradiol-17b (E2) and testosterone (T)) and comparison with grass carp raised in Poland. We noted that oogenesis was blocked in all females at the migrating germinal vesicle stage, precluding ovulation or spawning without artificial induction. High rates of atypical post-vitellogenic oocytes (translucent, not filled with yolk granules) were observed in many females. Female individual cycles also displayed atypical features: cycles were sometimes (10% of females) blocked at the beginning of vitellogenesis (BV), for females displaying abnormally low E2 (0.5 ng/ml) and Vg (30 microgram/ml) levels compared to "normal" females (1.4 ng/ml and 223 microgram/ml, respectively). The duration of the cycles was highly variable among females (a few days to several weeks). Sexual cycles were unsynchronised (all the ovarian stages could be found for all seasons) and the number of females at the end of vitellogenesis (EV) was low (<40% most of the year). These characteristics raise problems for artificial induction of spawning in small-scale hatcheries: a large stock of broodfish is required as is regular checking of female broodstock with intraovarian biopsies to select responsive females.