TEMPERATURE INFLUENCES MUSCLE DIFFERENTIATION AND THE RELATIVE TIMING OF ORGANOGENESIS IN HERRING (CLUPEA-HARENGUS) LARVAE

I A Johnston

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Abstract

Eggs from spring spawning stocks of herring (Clupea harengus L.) were fertilized and reared at either 5, 8 or 12-degrees-C in 1991 and 1992. The differentiation of myotomal muscle fibres was investigated in relation to the development of other organs and tissues using light and electron microscopy. The gut, notochord, eyes and haemocoel appeared at the same relative point in development between fertilization and hatching at all temperatures. In contrast, the formation of the spinal cord, pronephros, pectoral fin buds and muscle fibres was relatively retarded at 5-degrees-C compared with 8 and 12-degrees-C. Myogenesis in the presumptive inner muscle mass occurred after 12 to 16 d at 5-degrees-C, 7 to 10 d at 8-degrees-C and 3.5 to 6 d at 12-degrees-C. Myoblasts aligned in orderly rows running from myosept to myosept prior to fusion to form myotubes. Actin and myosin filaments were synthesised throughout the cytoplasm in associated with presumptive Z-lines at the periphery of myotubes and immature muscle fibres. Differentiation of the superficial and inner muscle fibres types of larvae occurred at around the same time. Following this initial period of myogenesis, the number of myotomal muscle fibres remained constant until after hatching, so that increases in muscle bulk in the late embryo were entirely due to fibre hypertrophy. At hatching, the number of superficial muscle fibres present in myotomes just posterior to the yolk-sac was significantly less at 5-degrees-C (108 +/- 12) than at either 8-degrees-C (132 +/- 10) or 12-degrees-C (140 +/- 10) (mean +/- SD, 12 fish/temperature). In contrast, there were around 280 inner muscle fibres/myotome, comprising 90% of the trunk cross-sectional area, at all three temperatures. Myofibrillargenesis occurred relatively slowly at low temperatures, so that the volume density of myofibrils in the inner muscle fibres of larvae at hatching was significantly less at 5-degrees-C (39.2 +/- 9.0) than at either 8-degrees-C (49.6 +/- 8.8) or 12-degrees-C (50.2 +/- 9.8) (mean +/- SD, 20 fibres/temperature from total of 5 fish). Undifferentiated myoblasts remained at hatching to form a population of presumptive myosatellite cells. The number of presumptive myosatellite cells per mm2 cross-sectional area of muscle fibre was more than two times higher at 8-degrees-C (1 493 +/- 33 5) than at either 5-degrees-C (478 +/- 102) or 12-degrees-C (924 +/- 233) (mean +/- SD, 5 fish/temperature). The results suggest that temperature can influence the commitment of myoblasts to differentiation at a critical stage in embryogenesis, thereby providing a potential mechanism for influencing future growth characteristics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-379
Number of pages17
JournalMAR BIOL
Volume116
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1993

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Keywords

  • SKELETAL-MUSCLE
  • MUSCULATURE
  • FIBERS
  • WHITE
  • Marine & Freshwater Biology
  • CELLS
  • SALMO-GAIRDNERI
  • GROWTH
  • FISH

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