Cite this paper:
HU Peng, LIU Bin, MENG Zhen, LIU Xinfu, JIA Yudong, YANG Zhi, LEI Jilin. Recovery of gonadal development in tiger puffer Takifugu rubripes after exposure to 17β-estradiol during early life stages[J]. Journal of Oceanology and Limnology, 2017, 35(3): 613-623

Recovery of gonadal development in tiger puffer Takifugu rubripes after exposure to 17β-estradiol during early life stages

HU Peng1,2, LIU Bin2, MENG Zhen2, LIU Xinfu2, JIA Yudong2, YANG Zhi3, LEI Jilin2
1 Key Laboratory of Mariculture of Ministry of Education, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266003, China;
2 Municipal Key Laboratory of Marine Fish Breeding and Biotechnology, Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China;
3 Tianyuan Aquaculture Co., Ltd. of Yantai Economic Development Zone, Yantai 264000, China
The aim of the present study was to investigate the long-term effects of 17β-estradiol (E2) exposure on gonadal development in the tiger puffer (Takifugu rubripes), which has a genetic sex determination system of male homogametic XY-XX. Tiger puffer larvae were exposed to 1, 10 and 100 μg/L E2 from 15 to 100 days post-hatch (dph) and then maintained in clean seawater until 400 dph. Changes in sex ratio, gonadal structure and gonadosomatic index (GSI) were monitored at 100, 160, 270 and 400 dph. Sex-associated single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers were used to analyze the genetic sex of samples, except those at 100 dph. Exposure had a positive effect on the conversion of genetically male gonads into phenotypically female gonads at 100 dph. However, gonads from 60% of genetic XY males in the 1-μg/L E2 group and 100% in the 10-μg/L E2 group developed intersexual gonads at 160 dph; gonads of all genetic XY males in the two treatment groups reverted to testis by 270 dph. While 38%, 57% and 44% of gonads of XY fish in the 100-μg/L E2 group reverted to intersexual gonads at 160, 270 and 400 dph, respectively, none reverted to testis after E2 treatment. In addition, E2 exposure inhibited gonadal growth of both genetic sexes, as indicated by the clear dose-dependent decrease in GSI at 270 and 400 dph. The results showed that exposure to E2 during the early life stages of tiger puffer disrupted gonadal development, but that fish recovered after migration to clean seawater. The study suggests the potential use of tiger puffer as a valuable indicator species to evaluate the effects of environmental estrogens on marine fish, thereby protecting valuable fishery resources.
Key words:    Takifugu rubripes|17β-estradiol|sex reversal|gonadal structure|morphological recovery   
Received: 2016-01-18   Revised: 2016-03-01
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