Author(s): Hall TE, Smith P, Johnston IA
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Abstract The early development of the Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua was studied from fertilization until first-feeding. Multiple families were reared at 7 degrees C and a developmental staging series was prepared using morphological landmarks visible with the light microscope. Stages were named rather than numbered to allow for future additions and broadly grouped into larger time intervals called periods. The most useful staging features were found to be initially cell number, and later in development, somite number. The mean cell cycle time for the first six cleavages was 135 min and the linear regression equation for development of somites(s) over time (t) was s = 0.29t - 18.14. The segmentation period began at 220 h postfertilization (hpf), and unlike some other teleosts, the addition of new somites continued throughout the majority of embryonic development, until just prior to hatching. Hatching occurred at 256 hpf, after which individuals remained motionless at the water's surface, undergoing negative phototaxis only after the first day posthatch. The first-feeding stage was reached at the end of the third day posthatch, subsequent to development of a functional jaw and hindgut. This staging series provides an essential baseline reference for future experiments involving developing cod embryos and for the aquaculture industry. Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
This article was published in J Morphol
and referenced in Journal of Biodiversity, Bioprospecting and Development