A histological description of ovarian recrudescence in two Labeo victorianus populations

  • Justus Rutaisire Department of Wildlife and Animal Resources Management, Makerere University, PO Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda
  • Anthony J Booth Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science, Rhodes University, PO Box 94, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
Keywords: Labeo victorianus</i>, oogenesis, ovarian recrudescence, spawning atresia


The ovaries of Labeo victorianus are paired organs situated in the peritoneal cavity and suspended on either side of the midline by a mesovarium. A capsule, composed of dense, regularly-arranged collagen and elastic fibres mixed with a few smooth muscle cells, enclosed the ovaries and gave off connective tissue septa, forming the ovigerous lamellae, which contained germ and follicle cells. Eight discrete stages of recrudescence were identified: oogonia, chromatin nucleolar oocytes, perinucleolar oocytes, primary yolk vesicle oocytes, secondary yolk vesicle oocytes, tertiary yolk vesicle oocytes, post-ovulatory follicles and atretic oocytes. Ovulation seemed to be synchronised with the onset of rainfall, with some deviations in the Sio River population. Gonadosomatic index variation followed a bimodal pattern, with maxima between January–February and between September– October for both populations. The same pattern was exhibited for both rainfall and water levels at the two study sites. Successful ovulation was followed by the formation of post- vulatory follicles and Type I atresia, while failed spawning was characterised by Type II atresia. Clearance of post-ovulatory follicles was by phagocytosis and formation of melano- acrophage centres. There were variations in post-ovulatory changes between the two populations. Reproductive patterns in the Kagera River population conformed to the ‘norm\' in African labeines of the synchronisation of spawning with rainfall. Slight deviations from this pattern were, however, observed in the Sio River population where spawning occurred prior to the onset of rainfall.

African Journal of Aquatic Science 2004, 29(2): 221– 28

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