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Temperature effects on the dynamics of gonad and oocyte development in captive wild-caught blacklip (Haliotis rubra) and greenlip (H. laevigata) abalone

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 15:29 authored by Grubert, MA, Ritar, AJ
Wild-caught blacklip (Haliotis rubra) and greenlip (H. laevigata) abalone were held from spent condition at 12°C, 14°C, 16°C or 18°C and routinely sampled to examine gonad development. Descriptors of gross structure included the visual gonad index (VGI) and the modified gonad bulk index (MGBI). Oocyte diameter ratio (ODR) and oocyte volume (based on an ellipsoid) were used as descriptors of ovarian microstructure. For each species, the rate of increase in the VGI, MGBI and oocyte volume of animals held at different temperatures was used to estimate the biological zero point (BZP), the critical temperature below which no development occurs. BZP estimates derived from the daily increase in VGI and oocyte volume were similar (7.8°C and 7.6°C for blacklip abalone; 6.9°C and 6.8°C for greenlip abalone, respectively), but those based on the increase in MGBI were up to 1.8°C lower (6.0°C and 5.7°C, for blacklip and greenlip abalone, respectively). The mean MGBI, in terms of gonad volume per gram of shucked animal weight, ranged from 5-68 mm3g-1 and 5-58 mm3g-1 for blacklip and greenlip abalone, respectively. The ODR indicated that oocyte shape was highly variable in oocytes <90 μm diameter in both species. Above 90 μm, ODR values increased proportionally with oocyte size, indicating a transition in shape from elliptical to round. Ranges for mean oocyte volume for blacklip and greenlip abalone were 0.15-1.4×106 μm 3 and 0.02-1.83×106 μm3, respectively. The pattern of oocyte growth relative to temperature for both species is illustrated using tables of standardized residuals. Determination of the BZP for blacklip and greenlip abalone enables the calculation of the effective accumulative temperature (EAT; the cumulative difference between the water temperature and the BZP, calculated daily) for gamete maturation of these species. This, in turn, allows predictive and deductive estimates of the completion of this process (when water temperature is known) in either natural or artificial (i.e., cultured) environments.


Publication title

Invertebrate Reproduction and Development








Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Balaban Publishers, International Science Services

Place of publication

Po Box 2039, Rehovot, Israel, 76120

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  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Fisheries - aquaculture not elsewhere classified

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