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  • Author or Editor: M. Bercsényi x
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Previously described and alternative methods of the induction of sexual maturation in the European eel were investigated. Weekly administrations of a gonadoliberin agonist (GnRH-A=D-Phe6-GnRH-Ea) did not induce statistically significant effect on the gonads of treated eels in none of the dosages used (0.1 mg and 10 mg/fish). Carp pituitary extract and carp pituitary extract together with a dopamine antagonist caused considerable external changes (increase in eye size) and significant gonadal development in two treatment groups: wild and cultivated stocks. The induction of the ovulation by double amount of CP and gonadoliberin agonist with dopamine antagonist mixture was not successful in a wild stock. Fertilisation of stripped eggs of farm eel was attempted unsuccessfully in, due to low egg quality. An advanced phase of the sexual maturation process could be induced in specimen infected by Anguillicola crassus indicating, that nematode infection is not a limiting factor in the artificial propagation of the European eel.

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Experiments were carried out on sperm cryopreservation of two European percid fish species, the pikeperch (Sander lucioperca) and the Volga pikeperch (S. volgensis) . Two experiments were conducted on pikeperch sperm. In the first, the effects of three extenders (Glucose, KCl, Sucrose) and two cryoprotectants (dimethyl-sulfoxide: DMSO, methanol: MeOH) were tested on motility and fertilization. In the second, the effects of two dilution ratios (1: 1, 1: 9) and two cryoprotectants (DMSO, MeOH) on hatching were investigated. In the experiment on Volga pikeperch the suitability of using cryopreservation for fertilization was investigated. In the first experiment on pikeperch the highest post-thaw motility (28 ± 21%) and fertilization rate (43 ± 12%) was found with DMSO as cryoprotectant in combination with Glucose extender. In the second, the highest hatch rate (41 ± 22%) was observed with MeOH as cryoprotectant and 1: 1 sperm dilution ratio, however no significant difference was found among the results. In the experiment on Volga pikeperch hatch rates with cryopreserved sperm (60 ± 2%) did not significantly differ from the control (60 ± 6%). Contamination of sperm with urine seems to be a key problem in the success of sperm cryopreservation of these species.

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A feeding experiment was conducted on northern pike, Esox lucius L. (123.6±33.3 g initial body weight) applying graded dietary fish oil supplementation resulting three dietary fat levels (without supplementation: 6.2% fat and 11.7, 17.4% fat levels with supplementations) in a recirculation system. Feed consumption, feed efficiency and protein utilization of pike was not affected by the treatment. Whole body lipid content analysis showed that the composition of pike was significantly affected by the increasing level of fish oil supplementation, although no relationship was detected between the dietary and the fillet lipid content, as well as the protein content of fish bodies. High docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, C22:6n-3) proportions were found in the muscle lipids (groups fed fish oil supplementation), as compared to the dietary fatty acid compositions suggesting that with dietary fish oil supplementation the dietary precursors (mainly EPA) enable pike to convert long chain highly unsaturated fatty acids, especially DHA; resulting high DHA: EPA ratios in the fillet.

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Acta Biologica Hungarica
Authors: J. Saju, Sz. Németh, Réka Szűcs, Rashmi Sukumaran, Z. Lim, L. Wong, L. Orbán, and M. Bercsényi

The identification of three scorpionfish species, the black scorpionfish (Scorpaena porcus Linnaeus, 1758), the large-scaled scorpionfish (S. scrofa Linnaeus, 1758) and the small red scorpionfish (S. notata Rafinesque, 1810) is possible in adults by morphometry, but often problematic in juveniles due to their similar phenotypes. To develop a molecular species identification tool, first, we have analyzed the genetic similarity of the three species by a PCR-based ‘blind method’ that amplified bands from various locations of the genome. We found high levels of nucleotide similarity between S. porcus and S. scrofa, whereas S. notata showed a higher level of divergence from the other two species. Then, we have searched these patterns for differences between the genomes of Adriatic specimen of these three species and identified several species-specific products in two of them. For the third one a species-specific primer pair amplifying from the 16S ribosomal DNA was designed. One marker for each species was cloned, sequenced and converted into Sequence Characterized Amplified Region (SCAR) markers amplified by specific primer pairs. The SCAR markers amplified robust bands of limited variability from the target species, while no or only occasional weak products were obtained from the other two, proving that they can be used for molecular identification of these three species. These markers can help the conservation and future analysis of these three species as well as their possible selection programs for aquaculture purposes.

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Acta Biologica Hungarica
Authors: L. Horváth, Cs. Székely, Zs. Boczonádi, E. Mészáros, M. Bercsényi, B. Urbányi, and T. Müller

European eel is a catadromous fish species, which means that after living in freshwater premature individuals adapt to sea water, and migrate to the Sargasso Sea for spawning. Although male eel can be sexually matured even in freshwater, to date, it was believed that female eel can be matured only in seawater. Here we show that the process of sexual maturation may be induced in freshwater by treating female eels with carp pituitary (GSI = 9.87±1.55%). It is thus proposed that seawater condition is not an obligatory environment for stimulating gametogenesis and for artificial maturation of the European eel in neither gender.

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Experiments were carried out on the sperm cryopreservation of artificially induced eels. The effects of several extenders and two cryoprotectants on the motility of spermatozoa were investigated. The highest post-thaw motility was observed with the combination of Tanaka's extender and DMSO as cryoprotectant. Further dilution after thawing resulted in complete loss of motility in samples frozen in presence of DMSO while sperm frozen with methanol as cryoprotectant retained its motility after further dilution.

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The artificial induction of sexual maturation of European eel males was carried out by using weekly hCG administrations. Histological pictures showed that the testis tissues developed and regressed naturally and no pathological changes took place under the conditions of artificial rearing in freshwater. According to light and electron microscopic investigations the morphology and motility of the spermatozoa of males kept in freshwater proved to be similar to those in seawater. The authors suppose that freshwater rearing of males is not a barrier factor in the artificial propagation of European eels.

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Acta Veterinaria Hungarica
Authors: T. Müller, T. Molnár, Éva Szabó, R. Romvári, Cs. Hancz, M. Bercsényi, and P. Horn

Female European eels were kept in artificial seawater for a trial period of 14 weeks. Three fish were injected intra-abdominally with carp pituitary suspension (twice a week) and human chorionic gonadotropin (every 2nd week), with the aim to induce artificial maturation. Three further fish were not treated (control). Fish were not fed during the trial. The treated fish were scanned by computed tomography (CT) every second week (the controls only at the start and at the end of the trial) to follow changes in body composition. Notable decreases were shown in total body pixel number (body volume), total body fat content, total fillet volume and fillet fat content during the experiment. Changes were more pronounced in the treated group than in the control. The abdominal volume strongly increased in the responding fish throughout the trial. The ovary volume increased measurably, while its fat content increased only until the 8th week, after which a decrease was measured. Tissue volumetric estimations of the ovary were also supported by histological results. A so-called volumetric gonadosomatic index (gonad volume/total body volume × 100) was developed for the quantitative characterisation of eel maturation.

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Acta Biologica Hungarica
Authors: T. Müller, T. Molnár, A. Szabó, E. Yamaha, Éva Járási, M. Bercsényi, A. Specziár, B. Urbányi, and R. Romvári

The present study aimed in vivo tracking of maturation of male eel by computed tomography (CT). Additionally, individually monitored testes sizes were correlated with the conventionally used external maturity indicators (i.e. eye and nose indexes) in order to test and improve their usefulness at individual level. Testes could be clearly identified with the CT from the end of the third week of hCG administration routinely used to induce maturation in fish. The volume of testes increased exponentially during hormone treatment, and by the end of the sixth week of maturation procedure all males produced motilable spermatozoa. Present results prove that testes size can noninvasively be monitored with CT from maturity level where testes size rich 3000 mm3 volume. Eye and nose indexes are in close correlation with testes volume and thus can also be effectively used to monitor maturaty level of male eel, but preferably only at stock level. However, due to their high individual variability, these indexes can be applied only with caution at individual level and should be supplemented with other noninvasive techniques such as CT.

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