The histological process of gonadal differentiation, together with the endocrine changes of sex steroid hormones and some of their precursors, was studied in hatchery-produced greater amberjack Seriola dumerili from 101 until 408 days post-hatching (dph), with samplings conducted every 50 days. Histological processing showed that sex differentiation began at 101 dph with the formation of the ovarian cavity in females, while the presumptive males did not yet contain any germ cells in their gonad. At 150 dph, we observed the first germ cells in the developing testes. Sex differentiation in almost all sampled individuals was complete at 408 dph. No size dimorphism was observed between the sexes, and the sex ratio was 1:1, suggesting that there was no influence of early rearing in captivity on sex differentiation. Plasma concentrations of adrenosterone (Ad), androstenedione (Δ4), 11-ketotestosterone (11ΚΤ), testosterone (Τ), estradiol (Ε2), progesterone (P4) and 17,20β-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one (17,20βP) were measured in males and females with the use of liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) to examine their role in the sex differentiation process. From the seven hormones, the only one that exhibited differences between the sexes was 11-KT and the plasma 11-KT concentration was found to be a useful indication of greater amberjack sex. Variations were observed in the mean values of Ad, Δ4, 11-KT, T, P4 and 17,20βP over time in one or both sexes, indicating their involvement in the sex differentiation process.
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The study was supported by the project NewTechAqua (European Union´s Programme H2020, GA 862658) awarded to CCM ylonas.
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Ethical approval for the study was obtained by the relevant Greek authorities (National Veterinary Services) under the license No 255332 (ΑΔΑ: ΩΨ2Κ7ΛΚ-Η7Ξ). All procedures involving animals were conducted in accordance to the “Guidelines for the treatment of animals in behavioral research and teaching” (Anonymous 1998), the Ethical justification for the use and treatment of fishes in research: an update (Metcalfe and Craig 2011) and the “Directive 2010/63/EU of the European parliament and the council of 22 September 2010 on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes” (EU 2010). All authors have agreed to participate in the manuscript.
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Papadaki, M., Mandalakis, M., Anastasiou, T.I. et al. Histological evaluation of sex differentiation and early sex identification in hatchery-produced greater amberjack (Seriola dumerili) reared in sea cages. Fish Physiol Biochem 47, 1777–1792 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10695-021-01007-7