Sturgeon (Chondrostei, Acipenseriformes) are threatened or endangered species due to overfishing and environmental degradation causing disruption of natural reproduction. Commercial sturgeon aquaculture and conservation program requires broodfish management as well as biogeographical and biological knowledge. Therefore, control of sturgeon reproduction in captivity can become as a valid tool in the field of sustainable development. The main objectives of the present review were to summarize, describe and synthesize available data about neuroendocrine control of testicular development, spermiation induction, seminal plasma characteristics and factors affecting sperm quality. In sturgeon, puberty usually occurs late in life and adult males do not spawn on an annual basis. Gonadal differentiation and spermatogonia proliferation occurs at 1–2 and 2–3 year-old, respectively. In spermatogenesis, environmental stimuli affect hypothalamus to release GnRH, which induce FSH release from pituitary stimulating testicular androgenesis, which is involved in spermatogonial proliferation and spermatogenesis. At spawning season, GnRH stimulates LH production from pituitary, regulating 17α,20β-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one production in testis, which control sperm maturation. In captivity, hormonal treatment is essential to induce spermiation. Chemical and biochemical compounds of the seminal plasma are important to protect viability, motility and fertilizing capacity of spermatozoa. Several kinds of acrosomal enzymes have been identified in sturgeon seminal plasma; higher concentrations reported in the frozen/thawed than fresh sperm suggesting their origination from spermatozoa. Moreover, there are numerous factors that influence on sperm quality including temperature, methods for spermiation induction, stripping frequency and stress.
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries – Springer Journals
Published: May 17, 2012
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