Analysis of gamete interactions, maternal, and paternal effects for improving hybrid catfish aquaculture
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures
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Hatchery techniques and technologies have evolved to make the large-scale production of channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) × blue catfish (I. furcatus) hybrids viable and profitable, but there are still reproductive roadblocks between the two species, leading to inconsistent fry production. Therefore, it is imperative to assess how gamete interactions, and maternal/paternal effects impact fertilization outcomes and offspring performance traits during the “critical” early life history stages. In this thesis, it was demonstrated that manual spawning practices can be improved and that gamete interactions can cause alterations in sperm performance for hybrid catfish and other cultured fish species. Environmental effects, parental effects, and interactions between them also control many traits early in life, which if linked to specific mRNA transcripts, may be a powerful mechanism to improve gamete and larval quality. Overall, this work has identified the importance of spawning strategies, females, males, and their mating compatibilities for proper broodstock selection.