Lack of evidence for a role of olfaction on first maturation in farmed sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax

Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2015 Sep 15;221:114-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2015.02.017. Epub 2015 Feb 28.


Chemical communication is widespread in the animal kingdom and olfaction constitutes a powerful channel for social and environmental cues. In fish, olfactory stimuli are known to influence physiological processes, including reproduction. Here we investigate the effects of olfaction on puberty in European sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax males. Intact sea bass coming to first maturity (puberty) are able to smell conspecific odours. However, induced anosmia during most of the spermatogenesis period had no effect on the sex ratio, gonad maturation state or gonado-somatic index at the time of reproduction. Furthermore anosmia decreased mRNA expression of brain KISS2 and pituitary LHb and FSHb, but not brain GnRH1 and GnRH3. Thus, although anosmia seems to modify gene expression of key reproduction related genetic factors, it seems to be insufficient to stop or delay growth or gonadal development and maturation.

Keywords: Chemical communication; Olfaction; Puberty; Reproduction; Sea bass.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bass / physiology*
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Fish Proteins / genetics
  • Fish Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gonads / physiology
  • Male
  • Pituitary Gland / metabolism
  • Puberty / physiology*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Reproduction / physiology*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sex Differentiation / physiology
  • Sex Ratio
  • Sexual Maturation / physiology*
  • Smell / physiology*
  • Spermatogenesis / physiology


  • Fish Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger