Wilder, M.N., 2019. Advances in the science of crustacean reproductive physiology and potential applications to new seed production technology. In: Jithendran, K.P.; Saraswathy, R.; Balasubramanian, C.P.; Kumaraguru Vasagam, K.P.; Jayasankar, V.; Raghavan, R.; Alavandi, S.V., and Vijayan, K.K. (eds.), BRAQCON 2019: World Brackishwater Aquaculture Conference. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 86, pp. 6–10. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
The shrimp culture industry continues to show expansion world-wide, and a large number of crustacean species having commercial importance are found within the order Decapoda. At present, eyestalk ablation is frequently used in hatcheries for marine shrimp in order to induce maturation under captivity, but the method is considered undesirable from the viewpoint of animal welfare. In this regard, this review details the current status of knowledge regarding crustacean reproductive mechanisms, especially in relation to research covering vitellogenin structure, structure and function of vitellogenesis-inhibiting hormone (VIH), identity of putative factors stimulating vitellogenesis, and applications of such research to developing new seed production technology. Regarding vitellogenin, full structure is now known for nearly 20 decapod species, not only for prawns/shrimps, but also for certain crab and crayfish species; vitellogenin molecules in these species have a primary structure consisting of more than 2,500 amino acid residues. VIH is a member of the crustacean hyperglycemic hormone (CHH)-family. Mature CHH-family peptides are typically comprised of 72-78 amino acids having six conserved cysteine residues. The complete identity of vitellogenesis-stimulating hormone (VSH) remains elusive, but eyestalk hormones such as red pigment-concentrating hormone (RPCH) may play a role in promoting ovarian maturation in certain species. The challenge for the future is to seek a viable alternative to eyestalk ablation based on hormonal manipulation and application of the above knowledge.