Free Access
Reprod. Nutr. Dev.
Volume 46, Number 6, November-December 2006
Page(s) 689 - 698
Published online 15 December 2006
Reprod. Nutr. Dev. 46 (2006) 689-698
DOI: 10.1051/rnd:2006042

Body size versus gonad maturation form in under-yearling precocious males of the sea trout (Salmo trutta m. trutta L.)

Katarzyna Dziewulska and Józef Domagala

Department of General Zoology, University of Szczecin, 3c Felczaka Street, 71-412 Szczecin, Poland

(Received 5 December 2005; accepted 12 July 2006; published online 15 December 2006)

Abstract - The study was aimed at analysing body size in relation to form of gonad maturation (amount of mature germ cells) in 329 under-yearling sea trout males. The fish, aged 7 months, were caught in late October-early November in 3 streams located in north-western Poland. Each stream supported fish belonging to a different sib group. Standard histological techniques and a computer image analysis programme were used to detect the class of gonad maturation and percentage of the gonad area occupied by tubules with active spermatogenesis. Gonad maturation forms were distinguished based on the latter criteria. Gonads with developing germ cells occupying less than 90% of gonad area were classified as incomplete forms of gonad maturation, others as complete maturation forms. In each sib-groups analysed, even the smallest individual were already precocious, their gonads being incompletely mature. The smallest maturing male measured 7.1 cm in length. The average size of an incompletely maturing individual was slightly smaller than that of the completely mature one but the difference lacked statistical significance (P > 0.05). The sib-group of smaller fish contained less precocious, and the gonads of the more precocious were incompletely mature, compared to the sib-group of larger fish ( P < 0.001). It seems that the incomplete form of gonad maturation (defected maturation) occurs at a smaller critical fish size than the complete gonad maturation form. Incomplete maturation is more frequent smaller individuals and possibly in among slow-growing groups of fish.

Key words: Salmo trutta / testis / precocious / incomplete maturation / partial maturation / attempted maturation

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© INRA, EDP Sciences 2006