Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Ocean, Coastal, and Earth Sciences
Dr. MD Saydur Rahman
Dr. John A. Breier
Dr. Alejandro Fierro Cabo
Environmental phenomena such as temperature, photoperiod, tidal cycle, and lunar rhythm act as external cues that stimulate the reproductive activity of marine organisms. In this study, I report the annual and lunar reproductive cycles, and changes in nutritive phagocytes (NPs) in relation to gonadal maturation of Atlantic sea urchin (Arbacia punctulata, a primeval species). Monthly and weekly changes in gonadal development/maturation were observed histologically. In male, the testicular lobules were densely packed with sperm from June to August. In female, on the other hand, mature eggs first appeared in some ovaries in May, numerically increased from June to July, and decreased in August. During gametogenesis, NPs in both sexes were depleted from June to August. Histological observations revealed that the gonad developed synchronously around the new moon. Collectively, these results suggest that A. punctulata spawns several times during the summer months according to lunar cycle in the Gulf of Mexico.
Hernandez, Eleazar II, "Histological Evidence of Annual and Lunar Reproductive Rhythms of Atlantic Sea Urchin, Arbacia punctulata in the Gulf of Mexico: Changes in Nutritive Phagocytes in Relation to Gametogenesis" (2019). Theses and Dissertations - UTRGV. 475.