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Neotropical Ichthyology

Print version ISSN 1679-6225


CRICHIGNO, Sonia A.; BATTINI, Miguel A.  and  CUSSAC, Víctor E.. Early morphological variation and induction of phenotypic plasticity in Patagonian pejerrey. Neotrop. ichthyol. [online]. 2012, vol.10, n.2, pp.341-348.  Epub June 14, 2012. ISSN 1679-6225.

The aim of this work was to study two aspects of phenotypic plasticity in the Patagonian pejerrey Odontesthes hatcheri (Teleostei: Atherinopsidae) the dependence of the early morphology on developmental time and temperature, and the induction of morphological changes by controlled feeding in juveniles. Newly hatched free embryos, incubated at two different temperatures (13 and 18oC), and juveniles were used for the study and induction of phenotypic plasticity. Body and head shapes were analyzed with geometric morphometrics and linear measurements. Our results showed that shape variation at hatching was related to the bending of the embryo head on the yolk sac, increasing the head-trunk angle due to progressive straightening of the embryo. The head-trunk angle was related with temperature at incubation, with embryos incubated at higher temperature being more bent. Embryos that hatched earlier had bigger yolk sacs than those that hatched later. In juveniles, controlled feeding experiments added new morphological variation to that of wild juveniles. In all comparisons, the slenderness of the head, the size of premaxilla and jaw, and the position of the eye showed an enlarged variation due to controlled feeding. These results will contribute to comprehending the complexity of the morphological variation of O. hatcheri.

Keywords : Atherinopsidae; Development; Feeding; Morphometry; Odontesthes hatcheri.

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