Constant long photoperiod inhibits the onset of the reproductive cycle in roach females and males

Fish Physiol Biochem. 2020 Feb;46(1):89-102. doi: 10.1007/s10695-019-00698-3. Epub 2019 Sep 4.


Photoperiod and temperature are commonly accepted as the determinant factors for the control of the reproductive cycle in freshwater fishes. However, this determining effect is dependent on fish species. While applying a constant long photoperiod has an inhibitory effect in some species, the same photoperiodic manipulation has a stimulating effect in others. In cyprinids, a decrease in temperature or photoperiod can induce the gonad recrudescence. However, in roach Rutilus rutilus an early spring spawner cyprinid, there is little knowledge about the cueing role of each environmental factor. The aim of this work was to study the effect of a constant long photoperiod on the gametogenesis in roach. Fish were kept under either naturally simulated photoperiod or artificial constant long photoperiod and sampled at three times: at the beginning of photoperiod decrease, at the beginning of temperature decrease, and at the end of temperature decrease. Morphological parameters (gonado-somatic, hepato-somatic, and viscera-somatic indexes), plasma sexual steroids, and proportion of gametogenesis stages were estimated at each sampling time. The results showed that a constant, long photoperiod exerted inhibitory effects on gametogenesis advancement in both females and males that could stem from decrease of sex steroid production. Roach displayed a similar response to photoperiodic manipulations to other early spring spawners like percids, such as European perch, yellow perch and pikeperch. These results clearly showed the cueing role of the photoperiod in the induction of the reproductive cycle in roach.

Keywords: Inhibition; Onset of reproductive cycle; Photoperiod manipulation; Roach.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cyprinidae / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gametogenesis
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones
  • Gonads
  • Male
  • Photoperiod*
  • Reproduction / physiology
  • Seasons
  • Temperature


  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones