[en] sex reversal ; natural androgen ; 11 beta-hydroxyandrostenedione ; Florida red tilapia
[en] This paper reports the effects of a natural androgen, 11beta-hydroxyandrostenedione (11betaOHA4), on sex-reversed fry of the Florida red tilapia. In a first approach, the optimal dosage and duration were determined in the laboratory. The sex-reversal treatment was applied on post-yolksac stage fry (10 days after fertilisation at 27degreesC. Dosages of 20, 30, 40 and 50 mg of 11betaOHA4 kg(-1) of food were used during periods ranging from 10 to 35 days. Dosages of 40 or 50 mg of 11betaOHA4 kg(-1) of food during 21-35 days significantly increased the male percentage in sex-reversed groups in comparison to control groups. A lower but still significant deviation of the male percentage was observed when a dosage of 40 mg kg-1 was given during at least 28 days. Lower dosages did not significantly affect the sex ratio of treated groups. Based on the results of these observations, a follow-up study was conducted to evaluate the efficiency of this natural androgen for an intensive production of sex-reversed fry. Optimal dosage (50 mg kg-1) and treatment duration (28 days) were applied to increasing stocking density of fry (8000-11,000 fish m(-2)), producing a mean male percentage of 99.1% on the 510,000 treated fry. This study demonstrates the masculinizing efficiency of 11betaOHA4 in Florida red tilapia. Interest of a natural androgen, used in sex-reversal treatment, is discussed, particularly for the Florida red tilapia strain. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.