Oocyte maturation and active motility of spermatozoa are triggered by retinoic acid in pen shell Atrina pectinata

Abstract

For recovery of the declining population of pen shells in the wild, the production of pen shell juveniles for transplantation or aquaculture is underway in Japan. For more stable juvenile production, artificial fertilization methods for pen shells are needed, but methods to induce oocyte maturation (meiosis resumption) used in other bivalves, which make oocytes fertilizable, were ineffective for pen shells. Here, we report evidence showing that retinoic acid (RA) has strong activity in inducing oocyte maturation and activating sperm motility in pen shells. Treatment of fully developed oocytes with 1.0 μM all-trans-RA (at-RA) induced germinal vesicle breakdown, a typical morphological sign of oocyte maturation, but 1.0 μM at-retinol and at-retinal, 2 mM ammonia, and 1.0 μM serotonin were ineffective. Treatment with at-RA for 30 min was sufficient for oocyte maturation and was more potent than its isomers, 9-cis- and 13-cis-RA. Parallel results were obtained for sperm motility activation. Oocyte responsiveness to at-RA increased during the final stage of ovary development. Artificial fertilization was successful only with the oocytes treated with at-RA, and fertilized eggs developed to D-shaped (veliger) larvae without apparent morphological abnormalities. These results indicate the possible application of RA for the artificial fertilization of pen shells.

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Acknowledgements

The authors wish to express sincere gratitude to Ms. A. Tsujino for her expertise in the preparation and staining of paraffin and resin sections. Part of this study was supported by funding (Science and Technology Research Promotion Program for Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Food Industry, 28024C) from the Japan Association for Techno-innovation in Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (JATAFF). We also thank Edanz Group for editing a draft of this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Masahiko Awaji.

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Awaji, M., Matsumoto, T., Ojima, D. et al. Oocyte maturation and active motility of spermatozoa are triggered by retinoic acid in pen shell Atrina pectinata. Fish Sci 84, 535–551 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12562-018-1187-4

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Keywords

  • Pen shell
  • Atrina pectinata
  • Oocyte maturation
  • Sperm motility
  • Retinoic acid
  • Fertilization
  • Seed production