Publication Details

Byrne, P. G. & Silla, A. (2010). Hormone induction of gamete release and In-vitro fertilization in the critically endangered corroboree frog. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, 8 (144), 1-13.


Background: Conservation Breeding Programs (CBP's) are playing an important role in the protection of critically endangered anuran amphibians, but for many species recruitment is not successful enough to maintain captive populations, or provide individuals for release. In response, there has been an increasing focus on the use of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART), including the administration of reproductive hormones to induce gamete release followed by in vitro fertilisation. The objective of this study was to test the efficacy of two exogenous hormones to induce gamete release, for the purpose of conducting in vitro fertilisation (IVF), in one of Australia's most critically endangered frog species, Pseudophryne corroboree.Methods: Male frogs were administered a single dose of either human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) or luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRHa), while female frogs received both a priming and ovulatory dose of LHRHa. Spermiation responses were evaluated at 3, 7, 12, 24, 36, 48, 60 and 72 h post hormone administration (PA), and sperm number and viability were quantified using fluorescent microscopy. Ovulation responses were evaluated by stripping females every 12 h PA for 5 days. Once gametes were obtained, IVF was attempted by combining spermic urine with oocytes in a dilute solution of simplified amphibian ringer (SAR).Results: Administration of both hCG and LHRHa induced approximately 80% of males to release sperm over 72 h. Peak sperm release occurred at 12 h PA for hCG treated males and 36 h PA for LHRHa treated males. On average, LHRHa treated males released a significantly higher total number of live sperm, and a higher concentration of sperm, over a longer period. In female frogs, administration of LHRHa induced approximately 30% of individuals to release eggs. On average, eggs were released between 24 and 48 h PA, with a peak in egg release at 36 h PA. IVF resulted in a moderate percentage (54.72%) of eggs being fertilised, however all resultant embryos failed prior to gastrulation.Conclusions: Hormone treatment successfully induced spermiation and ovulation in P. corroboree, but refinement of gamete induction and IVF techniques will be required before ART protocols can be used to routinely propagate this species. © 2010 Byrne and Silla; licensee BioMed Central Ltd



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