Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Journal of Shellfish Research
The relationship between gonad area in transverse histological sections of the American oyster Crassostrea virginica (Gmelin 1790) and body location from which the section was cut was studied in specimens collected from four stations in the James River, Virginia in 1984 and 1986. Gonad area, expressed as percentage of total body area, increases in an antero-posterior direction; this requires use of sections from the same body location in comparisons between oysters. Approximate body locations, identified according to the anatomy and arrangement of the internal organs in the sections, were grouped into five types with similar gonad area percentages. One of those types is uniquely suitable for identification of a specific body location because it includes an easily recognizable pair of H-shaped structures corresponding to the posterior appendix of the anterior stomach caecum; furthermore, the recommended section type can be readily found on the whole oyster because it is located close to the junction of the gills and the labial palps. Gamete volume fraction (GVF) was positively correlated with percent gonad area (PGA) in most of the section types at three of the stations, suggesting that either measurement may be used to estimate the relative gonadal development in oysters. Differences between collection dates at the fourth station indicated what external factors may disrupt the correlation. It is suggested that gonad area measurements from a series of selected histological sections could be combined with gamete density measurements to estimate total gamete production by an oyster.
Crassostrea virginica, histological sections, gonad area, anatomy
Mann, Roger, "Anatomical features in histological sections of Crassostrea virginica (Gmelin, 1791) as an aid in management of gonad area for reproductive assessment" (1989). VIMS Articles. 726.