Marine Biology

, Volume 124, Issue 1, pp 17–25 | Cite as

Temperature and development in larvae of the turbot Scophthalmus maximus

  • S. Gibson
  • I. A. Johnston


Turbot (Scophthalmus maximus L.) were reared at 12 and 16°C until 26 d after hatching. At both temperatures, starting at the neural plate stage, somites were initially formed every 75 min. Expressed as a percentage of development time (DT, fertilisation to 90% larvae hatching) somite formation occurred relatively earlier during embryogenesis at 12°C (45% DT) than at 16°C (55% DT). At 12°C, after the 32-somite stage the rate of somite formation decreased to one every 300 min. The larvae hatched after 6 d at 12°C and 3 d at 16°C at a relatively primitive stage of development, prior to the opening of the mouth and anus, with unpigmented eyes, and a straight gut. Temperature altered the relative timing of organogenesis in the larval stages. At 12°C, the following characters appeared (in this order): swimbladder>loop in the gut (at the time of yolk exhaustion)>caudal fin. In contrast, at 16°C, the caudal fin appeared at the same time as the loop in the gut. At 16°C, spines formed on the head in the region of the otic capsule at the time the swimbladder formed and the yolk was exhausted, but were absent in 12°C larvae. At both temperatures, in 1 d-old larvae the myotomes just behind the yolk-sac contained ∼ 200 inner muscle fibres (presumptive white muscle). The initial growth of inner muscle was largely due to hypertrophy, but by 26 d at 12°C and 11 d at 16°C hyperplastic growth became important, as evidenced by a significant increase in the number of small fibres (<10 μm2). By 26 d the average number of inner muscle fibres had increased to 341 at 12°C and 988 at 16°C. New muscle fibres were added in distinct germinal zones at the dorsal and ventral apices of the myotomes. Metamorphosis was associated with a thickening of the superficial (presumptive red) muscle layer and the appearance of tonic muscle fibres.


Muscle Fibre Tonic Muscle White Muscle Small Fibre Neural Plate 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Gibson
    • 1
  • I. A. Johnston
    • 1
  1. 1.Gatty Marine Laboratory, School of Biological and Medical SciencesUniversity of St. AndrewsSt. AndrewsScotland

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