Structural and ultrastructural characterization of the embryonic development of Pseudoplatystoma spp. hybrids
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The hybrid fish Pseudoplatystoma spp. has been raised on a large scale by several fish farmers, despite the fact that little is known about its biology. This is because it presents a number of zootechnical advantages over the parental species. In order to provide information about the early morphology of this important species, we analyzed the fertilization and embryonic development of the hybrid between spotted females and barred males of sorubim specimens by light microscopy and by scanning (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) after induced spawning. Samples were collected at pre-established moments up to larval hatching. Seven distinct stages of hybrid embryonic development were identified: zygote, cleavage, morula, blastula, gastrula, histogenesis and organogenesis, and hatching. Under SEM, we observed spermatozoa at the micropyle entrance, the formation of a fertilization cone in the eggs, the differentiation of cephalic and caudal regions, the neural tube and embryo growth along the cephalo-caudal axis, as well as rudimentary optic vesicle and barbels. Under light microscopy, cytoplasmic movement was apparent with the consequent formation of animal and vegetative poles in eggs, in addition to epiboly movements and a small notochord portion. Under TEM, the oocyte chorion and eggs presented a sieve-like aspect in transversal cuts, coupled with the rupture of cortical alveoli and chorion elevation, thus enlarging the perivitelline space. Several mitochondria in the cortical cytoplasm were detected in both oocytes and eggs. Overall, we observed that the larvae hatched without visible morphological alterations, and seemed to be as viable in captive systems as they are in the natural environment.
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