Submitted to: Aquaculture America Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/15/2008
Publication Date: 2/1/2009
Citation: Chatakondi, N., Davis Jr, K.B. 2009. Development of a Selection Index on Blue Catfish for Optimized Sperm Production in the Catfish X Blue Hybrid Catfish Production. Aquaculture America Conference. Book of Abstracts on CD-ROM. p. 55. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Channel x blue hybrid catfish is a phenomenal fish for pond culture. This fish represents a major improvement in catfish production efficiency due to higher growth rates, lower feed conversion efficiency and improved disease resistance and processing yield compared to the commonly raised channel catfish. Paucity of hybrid fry in commercial quantities is a limiting factor for the large scale adoption of hybrid catfish in the industry. Improvements in hybrid fry production has been made through nutritional preparation, temperature manipulation, spawning protocols and hatchery management addressing the female parent, channel catfish in producing over 90 million fish in 2006-2008. Little or no research is focused on the male parent (blue catfish) even though both the gametes are needed for successful fry production. Sperm quality is a measure of the ability of sperm to successfully fertilize an egg. Sperm quality in farmed fish may be affected by different components of bloodstock husbandry, genetics, collection and storage of sperm, fertilization procedures and hatching protocols. This study proposes to determine the predictive factors for optimum sperm production in blue catfish in the production of hybrid catfish. In 2008 spawning season, 139 mature blue catfish were randomly selected representing the four strains and varying age groups (4 – 10 years). Each male was staged to determine the gonadal maturity, weight (kg), length (cm), plasma testosterone (ng) and sperm production (108)/kg of body weight (Figure 1). The maturity of blue catfish exhibited a linear relationship with the sperm production of blue catfish male (y=1.971x – 1.915, r2=0.8371). Three independent factors: condition factor, plasma testosterone and maturity were regressed to predict sperm production in blue catfish (r2 = 0.61). This index will be used to improve the efficiency of the hybrid catfish production and further to develop methods to raise blue catfish for improved sperm production.