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Environmental Regulation and Influence of the Eyes and Pineal Gland on the Gonadal Cycle and Spawning in Channel Catfish (ictalurus punctatus)

Kenneth B. Davis, Cheryl A. Goudie, Bill A. Simco, Robert Mac Gregor III and Nick C. Parker
Physiological Zoology
Vol. 59, No. 6 (Nov. - Dec., 1986), pp. 717-724
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30158617
Page Count: 8
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Environmental Regulation and Influence of the Eyes and Pineal Gland on the Gonadal Cycle and Spawning in Channel Catfish (ictalurus punctatus)
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Abstract

Blinded, pinealectomized, or blinded and pinealectomized female channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) were placed with normal (unoperated on) control fish in outdoor tanks at constant temperature (21 ± 2 C) or earthen ponds (ambient conditions) in February or August, when they were 21 or 27 mo old. Fish were sampled through the following reproductive season. The gonadosomatic index (GSI) and plasma estrogen concentration changed seasonally in 3-yr-old fish, but the changes were less marked or lacking in 2-yr-olds. The GSI levels of sexually mature (≥3 years old) fish peaked about a month earlier in the tanks than in the ponds; the estrogen peak for fish in the tanks was lower than that for pond fish. All experimental fish (both ages) in ponds delayed ovarian resorption for about 1 mo, compared with normal control fish. Exposure to constant 21 C water allowed earlier gonadal recrudescence. All groups of sexually mature fish that were surgically altered in August spawned during the following spring. Fish with eyes spawned earlier and had higher spawning percentages (control 68%, pinealectomized 75%) than did fish without eyes (blinded 50%, blinded and pinealectomized 56%). Neither the eyes nor the pineal is essential for spring gonadal maturation or for spawning in channel catfish, but one or both may have a role in timing these events. An annual internal oscillator that may be modified by environmental temperature is suggested as the primary control of reproductive cycling in the species. Light information obtained through the pineal, eyes, or both appears to affect the time of gonadal resorption.

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