Research Highlight

Surrogate fish moms and dads

doi:10.1038/nindia.2014.60 Published online 28 April 2014

Fish culture researchers report a new method that can quickly prepare surrogate fish mothers and fathers for breeding . By using thermo-chemical treatments, the researchers have been able to prepare adult fish recipients that can host implants and make surrogate sperm and egg cells from them in a short time.

Transplantating donor cells into a surrogate fish.


By preparing adult recipients in a short time, the researchers provide a better alternative to other breeding methods that take longer time and labour. The new method of cell transplantation could be valuable for species facing extinction, says one of the researchers Sullip Kumar Majhi from the National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources, Lucknow.

The method would also be of help in breeding fish species for which suitable hosts cannot be prepared in time.

A promising in situ conservation approach is development of surrogate brood stock through transplantation of gonadal stem cells. The researchers had earlier developed surrogate fathers by implanting donor stem cells into adult recipient fish. But the experiment was restricted to male fish.

In the new study, they isolated both male and female donor germ cells from Odontesthes bonariensis species and transplanted them non-surgically through the genital papilla into sexually mature gonads of Odontesthes hatcheri recipients. Their experiemnts proved that adult recipients are able to host exogenous spermatogonia and oogonia cells and make functional surrogate sperms and eggs from them.

The team is currently working to develop a similar surrogate brood stock model for the endangered species Denison's barb (Sahyadria denisonii), Majhi said.


1. Majhi, S. K. et al. Surrogate production of eggs and sperm by intrapapillary transplantation of germ cells in cytoablated adult fish. PLoS ONE (2014) doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0095294 | Article |