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Fertility of gynogenetic Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua L.)

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Summary

In order to investigate whether meiotic gynogenetic Atlantic cod is fertile and able to produce viable offspring, meiotic gynogenetic females were produced in spring 2010 by activating cod eggs using irradiated sperm. The extrusion of the second polar body was prevented by the application of hydrostatic pressure (56.6 MPa) 36 min after fertilization. In February 2012, their mean round weight was 972 g, and 2580 g in March 2013. In 2012, when the fish were 2 years old, about 52% were mature, 33% were immature, and 13% had undifferentiated gonads. One year later, 77% were mature, 11% were immature, and 11% had undifferentiated gonads. Several of the mature females had malformed gonads, with only one developed ovary lobe or with the two lobes fused. The mean gonadosomic index (GSI) of the 2-year-old mature females was 5.2%, with an estimated relative fecundity of 581 000 eggs kg ovary-free wet weight−1. Females were stripped for eggs when 2 and 3 years old (2012 and 2013), and fertilized with sperm from normal males. Offspring were obtained from 12 of 17 and 12 of 15 egg batches incubated in 2012 and 2013, respectively, proving that the gynogenetic females are fertile. Furthermore, larvae in all but one of the hatched groups from 2013 had commenced feeding 2 h after being startfed using rotifers 4 days after hatch, indicating viable offspring.

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