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Developing Fast-growing Male Bluegill Sunfish

From Ohio Aquaculture Research and Development Integration Program (OARDIP) Newsletter

The International Symposium on Genetics in Aquaculture XI, Auburn University, June 24-30, 2012.

Developing genetically fast-growing monosex male populations in bluegill sunfish

Han-Ping Wang, Zexia Gao, Hong Yao, Jacob Rapp and Paul O'Bryant

Bluegill Lepomis macrochirus is an important and high-value species for both food and recreational aquaculture, and has unique niche market in the Midwest and some other states. Much interest has been generated concerning the development of monosex male populations of bluegill due to their more rapid growth capacity relative to females. The methods involved to develop monosex population require a comprehensive understanding of the underlying basis of sex determination and gonadal function with development of monosex male populations. In this study, through histological observation, the bluegill is classified as a differentiated gonochorist and its critical period of sex differentiation occurs between 13.2 and 16.0 mm total length. Based on this result, 100% monosex female populations without intersex gonad were produced. By crossing the largest sex-reversed females (most of them should be XY-females) with regular males, 70% - 100% males were produced, and 25% of them should be YY-males. Developing superior all-male bluegill populations via crossing super sex-revised fish with genetically improved lines is underway. Effects of genotype by temperatures on sex ratio were tested also on two batches of fry with different parents. In the first batch, sex ratios did not deviate significantly from 1:1 in 23 °C group (P > 0.05); however, sex ratios significantly deviated from 1:1 in 29 °C and 34 °C groups, in which a significantly higher proportion of males (66.67– 70.64%) was yielded. The percents of males in 34 °C and 29 ° C groups were significantly higher than that in 23 °C and 17 ° C groups (P < 0.05). In Batch 2, sex ratios were significantly different from 1:1 in groups of 34 °C and 17-to-29 °C, in which a significantly higher proportion of males (58.79%) and females (63.9) was produced, respectively, while no significant deviations from 1:1 were detected in groups of 23°C and 29°C (P > 0.05). In both batches, the proportion of females decreased in low temperature treatment of 17 °C or 17-to-29 °C. We also tested 12835 AFLP loci and screened a considerable proportion of the bluegill sunfish genome, not a single sexspecific marker was found. These results suggest that sex chromosomes may be absent in the bluegill and a sex determining system based on polygenic effects will need to be considered.

The International Symposium on Genetics in Aquaculture XI,

Auburn University, June 24-30, 2012.

 

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