Study of the first blastomeres in Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch)

There is a lack of information on the morphology of the first blastomeres that could be used as a diagnostic tool for the first stages of embryonic development for Coho salmon. The purpose of this investigation, therefore, was to characterize morphometrically the first blastomeres of Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch). In total, 660 embryonic discs from a pool of eggs that had been fertilized and incubated at 5 degrees C and after 19 h of incubation were extracted and photographed. Of these, 20 microphotographs of blastodiscs of normal appearance were analyzed morphologically (control blastodiscs: CB) and 100 random microphotographs from the whole group were classified as either symmetrical or asymmetrical according to their morphology and then compared with the CB. The length and width of each blastomere and the proportions of length and width were measured to determine symmetry in the embryos at the 4-cell stage. Seven categories were created to characterize the blastomeres: 38% normal (G1); 26% unequal (G2); 10% 'pie-shaped' (G3); 10% amorphous (G4); 8% with three equal and one unequal blastomere (G5); 6% 'clover-shaped' blastomeres (G7), and 3% with inclusions. The mean of the proportions of lengths and widths of the groups of blastomeres that were measured was 0.87 +/- 0.08 and 0.85 +/- 0.07, respectively. The morphometric results that were obtained in this investigation are compared with the results observed by other authors for teleostei and are discussed.

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