New Technology for the Acceleration of Reproductive Maturation in Economically Important Crustaceans
The ready availability of females that are about to spawn, they having fully developed ovaries, would help assure the successful operation of commercial facilities designed for aquaculture of economically important crustaceans. Consequently, finding ways to stimulate ovarian maturation by non-surgical intervention is a major goal of several laboratories. The approach in this laboratory is to identify endogenous neurotransmitters that control release of the neurohormones that regulate gonadal maturation, in particular the gonad-stimulating hormone (GSH) from the brain and thoracic ganglia. A second important neurohormone involved in reproduction is the gonad-inhibiting hormone (GIH) that is present in the sinus gland in each eyestalk. GIH (Panouse, 1943) was actually discovered earlier than was GSH (Otsu, 1963). Both GSH and GIH are present in males and females. The fact that GIH is produced in the eyestalk is the basis for the commonly used technique in shrimp hatcheries of eyestalk ablation to induce ovarian maturation. Removing this inhibitor leads to precocious gonadal maturation. However, eyestalk ablation occasionally results in a high incidence of mortality. Consequently, discovery of techniques to induce maturation without surgery has a high priority. Once the neurotransmitters that regulate release of GSH and GIH have been identified, these neurotransmitters and their agonists or antagonists may provide a means by using them to induce gonadal maturation as needed by the hatcheries.
KeywordsFiddler Crab Thoracic Ganglion Gonadal Maturation Ovarian Maturation Androgenic Gland
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