[en] embryogenesis ; Perca fluviatilis ; sexual determination ; sexual differentiation ; sex steroid hormone
[en] It is widely accepted that sex steroid hormones play an important and a specific role during the process of sex differentiation in fish. In order to describe the role of the three main sex steroid hormones (testosterone--T, 17beta-estradiol--E2 and 11keto-testosterone--11KT) during embryogenesis and sex differentiation in Eurasian perch, Perca fluviatilis, eggs, larvae and juveniles originating from two mixed-sex and two all-female progenies were regularly sampled from fertilization to hatching (D0) and from hatching to day 70 post-hatching (D70). Just after spawning, a significant amount of sex steroids [T (1634.2pgg(-1)), E2 (554.4pgg(-1)) and 11KT (1513.2pgg(-1))] was measured in non-fertilised eggs suggesting a maternal transmission of these steroids. From D2 to D70 post-hatching, E2 levels were significantly higher in mixed-sex progenies (median: 725.7pgg(-1)) than in all-female progenies (156.2pgg(-1)) and significantly increased after the onset of the histological differentiation of the gonad in both progenies (D35). Levels of 11KT were significantly higher in mixed-sex (median: 431.5pgg(-1)) than in all-female progenies (below the limit of assay detection) and significantly increased at D35 in all-female progenies (median value: 343.2pgg(-1)). Mean 11KT to E2 ratio was six-fold higher in mixed-sex progenies (1.35) than in all-female progenies (0.24). The data suggest that the 11-oxygenated androgen (11KT) plays a major role in the male differentiation process, and that sex differentiation in Eurasian perch is probably determined by the 11KT to E2 ratio.