Effects of Gender and Sex Hormones on Disease Susceptibility of Channel Catfish to Edwardsiella ictaluri

Authors

  • Brian C. Peterson,

    Corresponding author
    1. USDA/ARS Catfish Genetics Research Unit, Thad Cochran National Warmwater Aquaculture Center, Stoneville, Mississippi 38776, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Kenneth B. Davis

    1. USDA/ARS Catfish Genetics Research Unit, Thad Cochran National Warmwater Aquaculture Center, Stoneville, Mississippi 38776, USA
    Search for more papers by this author

Corresponding author.

Abstract

The use of monosex populations for aquaculture is becoming widely used for several species. The current studies determined if there were any differences between male and female channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus, in disease susceptibility to Edwardsiella ictaluri, one of the most important pathogenic bacteria in catfish culture. Disease challenge experiments were carried out on fingerling channel catfish fed 17β-estradiol or testosterone before the challenge, and on all male and on sibling all female fingerlings. All male populations were produced by mating YY males with normal XX females. Sibling females were produced by hormonally sex reversing a subpopulation of six of the all male families. Weight gain or specific growth rate did not differ in fish fed testosterone or estrogen. Fish fed the highest dose of estrogen (50 mg/kg) had a significant higher mortality (P < 0.05), while mortality was similar in catfish fed 10 and 50 mg/kg of testosterone compared to controls. There were no differences in mortality between sibling males and females. These data indicate no increased disease susceptibility to E. ictaluri between males and females or due to exogenous sex hormones. Production of all male catfish for culture can proceed without concern for disease susceptibility to E. ictaluri.

Ancillary