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J Exp Zool. 2000 Apr 1;286(5):487-93.

Interrelationship between food availability, fat body, and ovarian cycles in the frog, Rana tigrina, with a discussion on the role of fat body in anuran reproduction.

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Zoology Department, Karnatak University, Dharwad-580 003, India.


Long-term experiments were conducted to study the progression of vitellogenic cycles in Rana tigrina (an annual breeder) having different foraging backgrounds and held under conditions of weekly or daily food supply and in presence or absence of abdominal fat bodies. They were autopsied in June to assess fecundity. In nature an adult R. tigrina produces on an average 4,000 eggs/100 g body mass (b.m.) And spawns in June-July following monsoon rains. Weekly feeding from July to next breeding season, June resulted in a significant decrease in both fecundity (1700 eggs/100 g body b.m.) And mean size of eggs, compared to well-fed or wild-caught frogs. The abdominal fat bodies were barely seen in frogs fed weekly throughout, whereas in frogs fed weekly from July-December but daily from January onwards, the fat bodies became noticeable (1% of b.m.) And number and mean size of eggs increased significantly over those fed weekly throughout. Frogs captured in January possessed enlarged fat bodies (5% of b.m.), depicting a good foraging history. Maintenance of these frogs on a weekly feeding regimen led to an exhaustion of fat stores. They produced less number of eggs (2, 000/100 g b.m.) As compared to wild frogs but of normal size, whereas daily feeding slowed down a depletion of fat body mass and also significantly increased fecundity (3,000/100 g b.m.) Over the weekly fed individuals. Sham operation or fat body ablation in October or February had no significant effect on total fecundity per se (3,000-3,500 eggs/100 g b.m.) Compared to that of wild-caught frogs. However, eggs were significantly smaller due to fat body ablation despite daily feeding. The study shows that food abundance/fat bodies influence egg size and number in R. tigrina and that a direct or indirect functional relationship exists between fat body and ovarian cycles that are characteristically inverse to each other. J. Exp. Zool. 286:487-493, 2000.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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