Effects of Temperature onIn VitroShort-Term Storage of Sterlet Sturgeon (Acipenser Ruthenus) Ova

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Artificial propagation of sturgeons is becoming increasingly important for recovery efforts as well as for commercial production. Sterlet Acipenser ruthenus is a common Eurasian sturgeon with a small body size and one of the fastest reproductive cycles among the sturgeons. The practical question being addressed in this study was how long fertilization of ovulated eggs can be delayed without substantially reducing the hatching rate, and an ancillary question is under what' temperature conditions do eggs retain good quality. Broodstock were injected with homogenized carp pituitary extract (CPE); ovulated eggs from three females were allocated to various treatment groups for temperature storage (control, 7°C, 11°C, 15°C and 19°C) until fertilized. Storage times at the regulated temperatures prior to fertilization were for 2.5, 5.0, 7.5 and 10.0 h. After the selected storage times in ovarian fluid, eggs were fertilized and transferred to incubation cages and then they were counted. Three replicates were allocated to each storage period and temperature. Hatched larvae were counted at 7-day post-fertilization. We found that sterlet eggs do not need to be fertilized immediately after collection. Reasonably good quality was retained for several hours if temperature conditions are fairly cool and stable. Eggs retained good quality when stored at 7°C and 11°C for up to 10 h with 54.1 ± 2.9 to 69.9 ± 7.9% hatching success, but egg quality was significantly reduced after 5-h storage at 19°C (p < 0.01) and 7.5-h storage at 15°C (p < 0.05) compared to cooler temperatures. Uniform temperatures between 7°C and 11°C can be considered as appropriate for storage of eggs in ovarian fluid for up to 10 h. This information can have practical application to routine hatchery practice for acipenserids, as well as for certain research protocols.

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