Maturation trade-offs in octopus females and their progeny: energy, digestion and defence indicators

Nelly.Tremblay [ at ]


Sexual maturation and reproduction influence the status of a number of physiological processes and consequently the ecology and behaviour of cephalopods. Using Octopus mimus as study model, the present work was focused in the changes in biochemical compound and activity that take place during gonadal maturation of females and its consequences in embryo and hatchlings characteristics. To do that, a total of 31 adult females of Octopus mimus were sampled to follow metabolites (ovaries and digestive gland) and digestive enzyme activities (alkaline and acidic proteases) during physiological and functional maturation. Levels of protein (Prot), triacylglyceride (TG), cholesterol (Chol), glucose (Glu) and glycogen (Gly) were evaluated. Groups of eggs coming from mature females were also sampled along development and after hatching (paralarvae of one and three days old) to track metabolites (Prot, TG, Glu, Gly, TG, Chol), digestive enzymes activity (Lipase, alkaline proteases, and acidic proteases), and antioxidant defence indicators with embryos development. Based on the data obtained, we hypothesised that immature females store Chol in their ovaries, probably from the food they ingested, but switch to TG reserves at the beginning of the maturation processes. At the same time, results suggest that these processes were energetically supported by Glu, obtained probably from Gly breakdown by gluconeogenic pathways. Also, was observed that embryos metabolites and enzymes (digestive and detoxification/antioxidant enzymes) where maintained without significant changes and in a low activity during the whole organogenesis, meaning that organogenesis is relatively not energetically costly. In contrast, after organogenesis, a mobilization of nutrients and activation of the metabolic and digestive enzymes was observed, together with increments in consumption of yolk and Gly, and reduction in lipid peroxidation. Derived from our results we also have the hypothesis that reactive oxygen species (ROS) were produced during the metabolic processes that occurs in ovarian maturation. Those ROS may be in part transferred to the egg provoking a ROS charge to the embryos. The elimination of ROS in embryos started when the activity of the heart and the absorption of the yolk around stages XIV and XV were evident. Altogether, these processes allowed the paralarvae to hatch with buffered levels of ROS and with the antioxidant defence mechanisms ready to support further ROS production derived from paralarvae higher life stage requirements (feeding and metabolic demands).

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Primary Division
Primary Topic
Peer revision
ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
Publication Status
Eprint ID
DOI 10.7717/peerj.6618

Cite as
Olivares, A. , Rodríguez-Fuentes, G. , Mascaró, M. , Sanchez Arteaga, A. , Ortega, K. , Caamal-Monsreal, C. , Tremblay, N. and Rosas, C. (2019): Maturation trade-offs in octopus females and their progeny: energy, digestion and defence indicators , Peer J . doi: 10.7717/peerj.6618



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