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Analysis of sexually dimorphic growth in captive reared cobia (Rachycentron canadum) and the occurrence of intersex individuals

Dutney, Luke and Elizur, Abigail and Lee, Peter (2016) Analysis of sexually dimorphic growth in captive reared cobia (Rachycentron canadum) and the occurrence of intersex individuals. Aquaculture . ISSN 0044-8486

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aquaculture.2016.09.04...

Publisher URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0044848616305725

Abstract

The growth of three cohorts of captive reared cobia, grown in a combination of flow-though and recirculating aquaculture systems, was progressively measured to determine the existence and extent of sexually dimorphic growth in cobia. Approximately 100 fish from each cohort were individually identified and regularly weighed until the average weight of the fish was approximately 5 kg. The sex of individuals was determined through gonadal observations at the conclusion of each trial and the gender fitted retrospectively to the growth data set. Intersex gonads were observed in the first two cohorts of cobia, with 16.9% incidence in cohort 1 and 6.8% in cohort 2. Cobia is considered a gonochoristic species. This was the first reported observation of intersex gonads in cobia and the first reported occurrence of intersex gonads from a gonochoristic fish species from Australian waters. Only one fish out of the 182 examined in the third cohort was identified as intersex. There was no sexually dimorphic growth in cobia when there was a relatively high incidence of the intersex anomaly, as seen in the first two cohorts of fish. In the relative absence of the intersex condition, female cobia was significantly larger than males from 2 kg onwards. The weight of female cobia was almost 30% more than that of males at 17 months of age when average weight of the cohort was 4.6 kg. It is likely that the first two cobia cohorts were exposed to endocrine disruption in some form, and the possible sources are discussed. Statement of relevance This study demonstrated that female cobia grow significantly faster than male fish and that investigations into monosex culture could lead to significant productivity gains for cobia aquaculture. It also demonstrated that cohorts containing intersex fish did not exhibit sexually dimorphic growth. It is likely that the reproductive anomaly is the result of disruption to the endocrine system.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Animal Science
Keywords:Cobia Rachycentron canadum Sexual dimorphism Growth Intersex
Subjects:Science > Biology > Evolution
Science > Biology > Reproduction
Aquaculture and Fisheries > Fisheries > Fishery research
Deposited On:05 Oct 2016 02:44
Last Modified:05 Oct 2016 02:44

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