Gender-changing fish are studied

Apr 11, 2006

A University of New Hampshire scientist is trying to determine what causes sex reversals among black sea bass and how to prevent it.

Associate Professor of zoology David Berlinsky says the sought-after fish is a good candidate for aquaculture, except for its unpredictable tendency to change gender while in captivity.

"In the wild, black sea bass are born as females and turn into males at around 2 to 5 years old," Berlinsky said, but the sex change occurs more quickly in captivity.

George Nardi, vice president and director of a commercial fish farm in Newington, N.H., says the problem makes breeding the fish a tricky proposition.

"We invest in our brood stocks, the parents of the young fish, much as a thoroughbred horse farm invests in mares and stallions," said Nardi. "It doesn't do us much good if we always have to go out and get new females."

Berlinsky and his colleagues so far have discovered the fish are more likely to become males if raised at constant temperatures or when kept in crowded tanks.

Berlinsky is also collaborating with Canadian researchers to determine the biochemical mechanisms causing the gender changes.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Mapping the world's linguistic diversity—scientists discover links between your genes and the language you speak

Related Stories

Researchers attach miniature video cameras to seabirds

Jun 01, 2015

Deakin University researchers have been given a bird's eye view of Victoria's underwater kingdoms, after attaching miniature video cameras to seabirds in a bid to work out how they find food in different ...

Anti-depressants disrupt fish's brains

Jul 04, 2014

Drugs designed to ease the symptoms of mental health problems such as depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress can have major disruptive effects on aquatic animals' brains, say ...

Recommended for you

Lady, you're on the money

10 hours ago

So far, women whose portraits appear on U.S. money have been a party of three. Excluding commemorative currency, only Sacagawea, Susan B. Anthony and Helen Keller appear on coins in general circulation, according ...

Old World monkey had tiny, complex brain

11 hours ago

The brain hidden inside the oldest known Old World monkey skull has been visualized for the first time. The creature's tiny but remarkably wrinkled brain supports the idea that brain complexity can evolve ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.