Bachan, M.M.; Fleming, I.A.; Trippel, E.A. (2012). Maternal allocation of lipid classes and fatty acids with seasonal egg production in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) of wild origin. Marine Biology. 159 2281-2297.
A suite of characteristics is often used to assess egg quality as these properties potentially play important roles in progeny survival and growth. Our objective was to assess egg characteristics including lipid biocomposition of an iteroparous, batch-spawning teleost of wild origin. Maternal allocation to egg number was generally dome-shaped (5 of 8 females) and egg size declined over the breeding season for eight breeding pairs of wild Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) (n = 43 batches). Egg lipid composition ranged considerably among females and between egg batches within females (e.g., phospholipids 40–86 %; polar 47–87 % and neutral lipids 15–52 % of total lipids; polyunsaturated fatty acids 16–50 % of total fatty acids). Principal component analyses revealed significant inter-relationships among maternal traits, batch sequence and fecundity, and egg size and composition. Seasonal trends with regard to lipid deposition were variable; three females showed consistent declines in lipid parameters (μg egg−1) with both batch number and egg diameter, one female showed consistent increase and the four remaining females showed no trend. The three females that exhibited seasonal declines in egg lipid content were characterized as having high fertilization success (>75 %). Our findings highlight the variability in lipid allocation to eggs of batch spawners of wild origin and characterize the composition of endogenous reserves available during embryogenesis and yolk sac larval stages.