Spawning dynamics and egg production characteristics of captive Seriola dorsalis assessed using parentage analyses
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Spawning dynamics and egg production characteristics of captive Seriola dorsalis assessed using parentage analyses

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  • Journal Title:
    Aquaculture Research
  • Description:
    In pelagic fish species, studying reproductive behaviour and spawning dynamics is challenging. In culture scenarios, these parameters are difficult to investigate for broadcast spawners such as Seriola. Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute has been culturing California yellowtail (S. dorsalis) since 2003 and now it is poised to become one of the first commercial offshore aquaculture marine finfish species in Southern California. Brood fish are typically kept in large tanks and spawn volitionally throughout the spawning season. This method is successful in yielding a consistent supply of eggs; however, it limits the understanding of spawning group dynamics or individual brood fish contribution, information that will be important to scaling production to commercial levels. In this study, genetic-based offspring parentage analyses were used to evaluate captive spawning dynamics in S. dorsalis over two consecutive spawning seasons. The analyses determined that typically one female released eggs during a spawning event, compared with an average of six males who released milt during these same spawning events. Notably, the analyses revealed that a single female dominated spawning output in both years, participating in 63 spawning events and producing 49.7 million eggs. The largest single spawn contribution by a female was 2.5 million eggs, corresponding to a batch fecundity estimate of 110,000 eggs kg−1. The spawning interval for the most productive females was 5–6 days. Using genetic tools to characterize spawning events will help to improve breeding programme designs for S. dorsalis, and this information can serve as a proxy for estimating spawning capacities of this species in the wild.
  • Source:
    Aquaculture Research, 52: 4050-4063
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    Accepted Manuscript
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