Fecundity and spawning periodicity in wild-type zebrafish mated pairs: A long-term, longitudinal study


In order to gain insight into the reproductive cycle of the zebrafish, Danio rerio, 70 mated pairs of wild-type adults were followed daily for spawning over a month, on average, and in some cases for more than four months. Different sets of mated pairs were followed over a 5 year period and each spawn was imaged by transparency scanner and quantified by image analysis using imageJ software. The 70 pairs produced a total of 37,711 embryos in 952 spawns over the course of 2,727 spawn-days. This gave an average spawning periodicity of 2.86 days and an average clutch size of 39.6 embryos. Considerable variation in spawning periodicity and clutch size occurred, in spite of constant environmental and nutritional conditions. Some mated pairs were consistently short periodicity spawners, while others exhibited intermediate or long periodicity. Spawning periodicity did not correlate well with clutch size, i.e., long periodicity spawning pairs were not necessarily producing larger clutch sizes. These data provide a foundation for study of the reproductive cycle of the zebrafish, an increasingly important model system.

Publication Title

Zebrafish: Topics in Reproduction, Toxicology and Development

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