Abnormal gonads in the Antarctic toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni Norman, 1937 [Perciformes: Nototheniidae]): the first record and histological description

Keywords: Cod icefish, histology, intersex, senescence, reproduction, CCAMLR

Abstract

This paper describes the morphology and histology of abnormal gonads in Antarctic toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni) and the possibility of intersexuality and senescence of some individuals. Two old (approximately 25 years) and large (184–185 cm) specimenswith abnormal gonadswere caught in the Antarctic during commercial fishing for toothfish and studied using histological methods. Although D. mawsoni is well-known and extensively studied, this is the first study dealing with abnormal gonads in the species. The histological analysis revealed that the gonads of the first specimen contained both male and female germ cells (ovotestis), the testicular and ovarian tissues being separated by a thick layer of connective tissue. The female portion was composed of secondary vitellogenic oocytes, primary vitellogenic, cortical alveolar and primary growth oocytes, while the testes contained cysts of spermatogonia and primary spermatocyte. The gonads of the second specimen were small, filiform and showed massive growth of the connective tissue, which occupied almost the entire gonad; a few spermatogonia without visible cystswere found. This study extends our understanding of sexual development in Antarctic toothfish, documenting the possibility of long-term interruptions in the reproductive cycle of this species.

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Published
2018-11-14
Section
Research Notes