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An emerging issue in applied fisheries reproductive biology is the need for common terminology. Many of the terms used to describe reproductive concepts and developmental stages are often inconsistent and specific to a study, species or region. This makes communication and comparative analyses difficult for researchers. In an effort to address the need for a common vocabulary, a group of biologists developed a list of commonly used reproductive terms and definitions (Lowerre-Barbieri et al. 2011) and standardized terms to describe reproductive development (Access publication: Brown-Peterson et al. 2011). 

Reproductive Terms and Definitions

Definition

Development and growth of oocytes, from oogonia through maturation. Stages of oogenesis: oogonia (Oo); primary growth (PG); cortical alveolar (CA); vitellogenic (Vtg), also known as yolked (Yo); and oocyte maturation (OM).

References

Kjesbu 2009
Wallace and Selman 1981
Patiño and Sullivan 2002
Hunter and Macewicz 1985

Definition

Morphological and physiological changes during development of male germ cells. Stages of spermatogenesis: spermatogonia (Sg), spermatocytes (Sc), spermatids (St) and spermatozoa (Sz). 

References

Grier and Uribe-Aranzábal 2009
Nagahama 1983

Definition

Gonadotropin-independent growth of oocytes, characterized by basophilic staining. Stages include: single nucleolus, multiple nucleoli and perinucleolar.

References

Wallace and Selman 1981

Definition

Gonadotropin-dependent growth of oocytes. Stages include: cortical alveolar (CA) and vitellogenic (Vtg). Vtg is often divided into three substages: primary vitellogenic (Vtg1), secondary vitellogenic (Vtg2) and tertiary vitellogenic (Vtg3).

References

Luckenbach et al. 2008
Abascal and Medina 2005
Matsuyama et al 1990

Definition

Resumption of meiosis and achievement of oocyte maturational competence, ending in ovulation. OM includes two nuclear events: germinal vesicle migration (GVM) and germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD). In some species, OM may also include: formation of large oil droplets, known as lipid coalescence (LC); yolk coalescence (YC); and hydration (H).

References

Grier et al. 2009
Jalabert 2005

Definition

Phases of gonadal development occurring in all fishes prior to, during and after spawning. Phases are defined as: immature (Imm); developing (Dev); spawning capable (SC), which includes the spawning (S) subphase; regressing (Rgs); and regenerating (Rgn).

References

Brown-Peterson et al. this 2011

Definition

Recruitment of oocytes from primary growth to secondary growth occurs prior to an individual’s spawning period.

References

Hunter et al. 1992

Murua and Saborido-Rey 2003

Definition

Recruitment of oocytes from primary growth to secondary growth continues throughout an individual’s spawning period.

References

Hunter et al. 1992

Murua and Saborido-Rey 2003

Definition

Females capable of ovulating and spawning multiple batches of oocytes during the individual spawning period. Batch spawners can have determinate or indeterminate fecundity.

References

Murua and Saborido-Rey 2003

Definition

Females ovulate and spawn all developing oocytes in a single event or within a very short time period as part of a single episode.

References

Murua and Saborido-Rey 2003

Definition

Sexually mature fish that fail to spawn during a reproductive season. Failure to spawn can be recognized by a lack of ovarian development (vitellogenesis) or by massive atresia prior to the spawning period.

References

Rideout et al. 2005

Definition

Synonymous with sexual maturity in both males and females, which is attained once in a lifetime.

References

Rideout et al. 2005

From Lowerre-Barbieri et al. 2011