Abstact only.At least five wild-caught Penaeus monodon from various maturation stages (initially classified in vivo as 0, I, II, III, IV, V) were measured, weighed and dissected for histological and histochemical studies. The anterior and posterior parts of the thoracic and abdominal regions of the ovary were sampled and stained with Mallory trichrome, alcian blue-periodic acid-Schiff (AB-PAS) and Sudan black. Results showed that the ovary is composed of the ovarian wall and its extensions, zone of proliferation, follicle cell layer and oocytes. The proliferating cells are less than 10 Âµm, have thin rims of cytoplasm, and increase in size as maturation proceeds. Based on histology, the stages were finally classified into groups (1) previtellogenic (stage 0), (2) vitellogenic (stages I and II), (3) cortical rod (stages III and IV), and (4) spent (stage V). The previtellogenic group consists only of perinucleolar oocytes (46-72 Âµm) which are stained negatively with AB-PAS and Sudan black. Oocytes bigger than 55 Âµm are enveloped by a single layer of follicle cells. The vitellogenic group is composed mostly of yolky oocytes (121-211 Âµm) with the following cytoplasmic inclusions: small granules of glycoproteins, medium-size globules of lipoglycoproteins, and few large lipid droplets. The cortical rod group consists mostly of yolky oocytes (288-408 Âµm) with additional rod-like bodies which contain acid and basic mucopolysaccharides but no lipid. The presence of cortical rods is a characteristic feature of mature penaeid ovaries. The spent group is similar to the previtellogenic group but contains some yolky oocytes, thicker follicle cell layers, or irregularly shaped perinucleolar oocytes. Th GSI ranges of the four groups are 0.899-1.937, 3.099-7.598, 5.631-12.000 and 1.848-2.919, respectively
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