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Physiological and environmental control of reproduction in polychaetes
Bentley, M.G.; Pacey, A.A. (1992). Physiological and environmental control of reproduction in polychaetes. Oceanogr. Mar. Biol. Ann. Rev. 30: 443-481
In: Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review. Aberdeen University Press/Allen & Unwin: London. ISSN 0078-3218, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Reproduction; Polychaeta [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Bentley, M.G.
  • Pacey, A.A.

    This review outlines the known physiological and environmental control of polychaete reproduction. Effects of environmental influences on somatic growth are considered because these influence the time when individuals become mature. Sex determination and sex reversal are also discussed. Reproductive processes are dealt with in two sections: Control of Reproductive Development and Gamete Maturation and Spawning. Control of reproductive development includes gonad development and gametogenesis, and endocrine or environmental factors may act at any stage in the development process. Arenicola marina (Arenicolidae), for example, has regulation of entry of cells into meiosis, Nephtys hombergi (Nephtyidae) and Eulalia viridis (Phyllodocidae) have hormonal control of vitellogenesis. Gamete maturation and spawning covers the final stages of oocyte development: germinal vesicle breakdown in oocytes and sperm motility acquisition. In addition, there may be modification of the reproductive tract, somatic modification, or behavioural changes associated with spawning. Environmental factors may act to synchronise gamete release between individuals, and hormones and pheromones may be involved in the transduction of this information. Endocrine factors cause gamete maturation, as in Arenicola marina and Pectinaria gouldii, but they may act on the somatic musculature to cause spawning, as in Nephtys spp. Post- spawning recovery is also discussed. Finally, models are developed to show how environmental factors may be transduced by the endocrine system in the control of reproduction in five species from different polychaete families. These are those species about which most information is available concerning environmental and physiological aspects of reproduction but it is apparent that there are many questions still to be answered.

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