Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Two Methods for Determining the Fertility Status of Early-Stage American Lobster, Homarus americanus, Eggs

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

This Article is currently unavailable for purchase.
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

Abstract The American lobster (Homarus americanus Milne Edwards, 1837) is the focus of the most important commercial fishery in New England, which relies on a variety of biological monitoring programs and surveys to guide the development of appropriate management plans. One key piece of information provided by these surveys is the number of females that are carrying eggs (ovigerous) that will subsequently contribute new recruits to the fishery. A major assumption is that all eggs carried by ovigerous females are fertilized and will thus result in viable recruits. However, because some lobsters extrude, and briefly carry, unfertilized eggs, this assumption needs to be re-evaluated. In particular, it is important to determine the approximate proportion of newly extruded eggs that are either fertilized, or not. The major goal of this project was to develop reliable methods for determining if early-stage lobster eggs (live and preserved) were in fact fertilized. One method involved using a nucleic acid stain to visualize egg DNA, after pretreatment of eggs with a proteolytic and collagenolytic enzyme solution to facilitate stain penetration through the egg membrane. With this method multi-nucleated (fertilized) eggs could be clearly distinguished from unfertilized eggs. A total of 20 egg clutches were tested to determine their fertility status using this method. Of these, 16 clutches (80%) were fertilized while 4 were not fertilized (20%). Of the 16 clutches with fertilized eggs, two had a mix of both fertilized and unfertilized eggs. A second method, using fluorometry to obtain measurements of total egg DNA, was also developed. There was a significant difference between the total DNA concentration in unfertilized control oöcytes and early-stage fertilized eggs (P < 0.001), and the total amount of DNA gradually increased as eggs developed (r  =  0.961, P < 0.0001). Both of these methods will make it possible to make a more accurate assessment of the proportion of female lobsters that will actually contribute new recruits to the fishery.

Affiliations: 1: University of New Hampshire, Department of Biological Sciences, 46 College Road, Durham, New Hampshire 03824, U.S.A


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Aiken D. E. , Waddy S. L. 1980 "Reproductive biology" pp. 215 276 In, Cobb J. S. , Phillips B. F. (eds.) The Biology and Management of Lobsters. Vol. 1 Academic Press New York
2. Aiken D. E. , Waddy S. L. 1982 "Cement gland development, ovary maturation, and reproductive cycles in the American lobster Homarus americanus " Journal of Crustacean Biology Vol 2 315 327
3. Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Stock Assessment Report No. 09-01 (supplement). March 2009.
4. Bumpus H. C. 1891 "The embryology of the American Lobster" Journal of Morphology Vol 5 215 262
5. Buttino I. , Ianora A. , Carotenuto Y. , Zupo V. , Miralto A. 2003 "Use of confocal laser scanning microscope in studies on the developmental biology of marine crustaceans" Microscopy Research and Technique Vol 6 458 464
6. Cheung T. S. 1966 "The development of the egg membranes and egg attachment in the shore crab, Carcinus maenas, and some related decapods" Journal of the Marine Biological Association UK Vol 46 373 400
7. Chittleborough R. G. 1976 "Breeding of Panulirus longipes cygnusGeorge under natural and controlled conditions" Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research Vol 27 499 516
8. Dervan P. B. 1983 "Design of sequence-specific DNA-binding molecules" Science Vol 232 464 471
9. FAO Fisheries Dept., Data and Statistical unit 2009 FISHSTAT Plus: Universal software for fishery statistical time series.
10. Fogarty M. J. 1995 "Populations, fisheries, and management" pp. 111 133 In, Factor J. R. (ed.) Biology of the Lobster Homarus americanus Academic Press New York
11. George R. W. 1962 "Description of Palinurus cygnussp. nov., the commercial crayfish (or spiny lobster) of Western Australia" Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia Vol 45 100 110
12. Gosselin T. , Sainte-Marie B. , Bernatchez L. 2003 "Patterns of sexual cohabitation and female ejaculate storage in the American lobster ( Homarus americanus)" Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology Vol 55 151 160
13. Gosselin T. , Sainte-Marie B. , Bernatchez L. 2005 "Geographic variation of multiple paternity in the American lobster, Homarus americanus " Molecular Ecology Vol 14 1517 1525
14. Hankin D. G. , Butler T. H. , Wild P. W. , Xue Q. L. 1997 "Does intense fishing on males impair mating success of female Dungeness crabs?" Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Vol 54 655 669
15. Hedgecock D. 1983 "Maturation and spawning of the American lobster, Homarus americanus. " Crustacean Aquaculture Vol 1 261 270
16. Helluy S. , Beltz B. S. 1991 "Embryonic development of the American lobster Homarus americanus:Quantitative staging and characterization of an embryonic molt cycle" Biological Bulletin Vol 180 355 371
17. Herrick F. H. 1895 "The American lobster: A study of its habits and development" Bulletin U. S. Fisheries Commission Vol 15 1 252
18. Herrick F. H. 1909 "Natural history of the American lobster" Bulletin U.S. Bureau of Fisheries Vol 29 149 408
19. Hines A. H. , Jivoff P. R. , Bushmann P. J. , van Montfrans J. , Reed S. A. , Wolcott D. L. , Wolcott T. G. 2003 "Evidence for sperm limitation in the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus " Bulletin of Marine Science Vol 72 287 310
20. Kendall M. S. , Wolcott D. L. , Wolcott T. G. , Hines A. H. 2002 "Influence of male size and mating history on sperm content of ejaculates of the blue crab Callinectes sapidus " Marine Ecology Progress Series Vol 230 235 240
21. Knight A. P. 1918 "Lobster investigations at Long Beach Pond, N.S" Contributions to Canadian Biology 53 71
22. Landers D. F. Jr , Keser M. , Saila S. B. 2001 "Changes in female lobster ( Homarus americanus) size at maturity and implications for the lobster resource in Long Island Sound, Connecticut" Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research Vol 52 1283 1290
23. Little S. A. , Watson W. H. III 2005 "Differences in the size at maturity of female American lobsters, Homarus americanus, captured throughout the range of the offshore fishery" Journal of Crustacean Biology Vol 25 585 592
24. MacDiarmid A. , Butler M. J. IV 1999 "Sperm economy and limitation in spiny lobsters" Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology Vol 46 14 24
25. MacDiarmid A. , Stewart R. 2005 "Male but not female mate choice by the red rock lobster is influenced by numbers of potential mates in a den" The Lobster Newsletter Vol 18 8 9
26. Masci J. , Monteiro A. 2005 "Visualization of early embryos of the butterfly Bicyclus anynana " Zygote 139 144
27. Milne Edwards H. 1834-1837 "Histoire naturelle des Crustacés comprenant l'anatomie, la physiologie et la classification de ces animaux" Paris, Librairie Encyclopédique de Roret 1 638
28. Milne Edwards H. , Lucas H. 1841 "Description des Crustacés nouveaux ou peu connus conserves dans la collection du museum" Archives du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle Paris Vol 2 461 483
29. Perkins H. C. 1971 "Egg loss during incubation from offshore northern lobsters (Decapoda: Homaridae)" Fishery Bulletin Vol 69 451 453
30. Perkins H. C. 1972 "Developmental rates at various temperatures of embryos of the northern lobster ( Homarus americanusMilne-Edwards)" Fishery Bulletin Vol 70 95 99
31. Pollock D. E. 1993 "Recruitment overfishing and resilience in spiny lobster populations" ICES Journal of Marine Science Vol 50 9 14
32. Rondeau A. , Sainte-Marie B. 2001 "Variable mate-guarding time and sperm allocation by male snow crab ( Chionoecetes opilio) in response to sexual competition, and their impact on the mating success of females" Biological Bulletin Vol 201 204 217
33. Sainte-Marie B. , Carriere C. 1995 "Fertilization of the second clutch of eggs of snow crab, Chionoecetes opilio,from females mated once or twice after their molt to maturity" Fishery Bulletin Vol 93 759 764
34. Sasaki G. , Capuzzo J. M. , Biesiot P. 1986 "Nutritional and bioenergetic considerations in the development of the American lobster Homarus americanus " Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Vol 43 2311 2319
35. Sato T. , Goshima S. 2007 "Female choice in response to risk of sperm limitation by the stone crab, Hapalogaster dentata " Animal Behavior Vol 73 331 338
36. Sato T. , Ashidate M. , Jinbo T. , Goshima S. 2006 "Variation of sperm allocation with male size and recovery rate of sperm numbers in spiny king crab Paralithodes brevipes " Marine Ecology Progress Series Vol 312 189 199
37. Talbot P. 1981 "Collagenase solutions induce in-vitro ovulation in lobsters ( Homarus americanus)" Journal of Experimental Zoology Vol 216 181 185
38. Talbot P. , Goudeau M. 1988 "A complex cortical reaction leads to formation of the fertilization envelope in the lobster, Homarus americanus. " Gamete Research Vol 19 1 18
39. Talbot P. , Harper R. 1984 "Abnormal egg stalk morphology is correlated with clutch attrition in laboratory-maintained lobsters ( Homarus americanus)" Biological Bulletin Vol 166 349 356
40. Talbot P. , Thayer C. , Wilson P. 1984 "Spawning, egg attachment and egg retention in captive lobsters ( Homarus americanus)" Aquaculture Vol 37 239 249
41. Templeman W. 1940 "Embryonic development rates and egg laying of Canadian lobsters" Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada Vol 5 71 83
42. Uglem I. , Uksnoy L. E. , Bergh O. 1996 "Chemical treatment of lobster eggs against epibiotic bacteria" Aquaculture International Vol 4 1 8
43. Waddy S. L. , Aiken D. E. 1985 "Fertilization and egg retention in artificially inseminated female American lobsters, Homarus americanus " Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Vol 42 1954 1956
44. Waddy S. L. , Aiken D. E. 2005 "Impact of invalid biological assumptions and misapplication of maturity criteria on size-at-maturity estimates for American lobster" Transactions of the American Fisheries Society Vol 134 1075 1090
45. Waddy S. L. , Aiken D. E. , De Klejin D. P. V. 1995 "Control of growth and reproduction" pp. 217 266 In, Factor J. R. (ed.) Biology of the Lobster Homarus americanus Academic Press New York
46. Zirbel M. J. , Miller C. B. , Batchelder H. P. 2007 "Staging egg development of marine copepods with DAPI and PicoGreen®" Limnology and Oceanography Methods Vol 5 106 110

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation