Aromatase activities and estrogen contents in the gonad of Japanese scallop, Patinopecten yessoensis, were determined during gonadal development and estrogenic cells in the testis were identified immunohistochemically. Ovaries and testes developed rapidly during January and February to reach the mature stage in March and the spawning stage in April. Increases in aromatase activities of the ovary and testis preceded the onset of the ovarian and testicular development. Aromatase activities reached the highest level at the growing stage in February and the mature stage in March, and showed a striking decrease at the spawning stage in April. Contents of ovarian and testicular estradiol-17beta changed similarly to the profile of aromatase activities in the ovary and testis, although estrone showed no change. Immunoreactivities against P450 aromatase and estradiol-17beta were detected in the cells along the inside of the acinar wall of the testis, whereas in the previous reports, the cells are distributed along the outside of the acinar wall in the ovary. This study thus suggests that estrogen is synthesized in the estrogenic cells of the ovary and testis through aromatization by P450 aromatase and that testicular estrogen may play a physiological role in spermatogenesis.