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Development of molecular probes for sex and sexual maturity determination in spotted wolffish



The culture of Atlantic wolffish and spotted wolffish has many comparative advantages. However, the development of a wolffish culture industry will only be successful if a stock of health spawners is available to ensure the production of a sufficient number of wolffish weighing several tens of grams for culture trials by the industry at the regional or national level. That will require a good knowledge of the maturation and reproduction cycle. Fertilization is internal in wolffish, but they do not copulate in captivity such that artificial fertilization must be used. A method for sex determination prior to spawning is essential to the development of the commercial culture of wolffish in Canada.

The objective of this project is to develop a non-destructive and precise technique for sex and sexual maturity determination in individuals during the annual reproduction period. To this end, sex steroids (estradiol and testosterone) will be measured in a small number of male and female wolffish during maturation several times during the year to establish the hormone profile and determine at what point it is possible to determine the sex of the individuals. The profile will be established by means of commercially available immunoassays (enzyme-linked immuno-sorbent assay (ELISA)).

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


2002 - 2003



Principal Investigator(s)

Robert Roy

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