Seahorse Development

From Embryology

Introduction

Newborns of three syngnathid species (A) N. ophidion, (B) S. abaster, and (C) H. abdominalis. Scale bars are 2 mm.[1]

Hippocampus (Greek, ippos = horse; kampe = curvature)


Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Syngnathiformes (Pipefishes and seahorses) > Syngnathidae (Pipefishes and seahorses) > Hippocampinae


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Seahorse Development

Some Recent Findings

  • Standardised classification of pre-release development in male-brooding pipefish, seahorses, and seadragons (Family Syngnathidae)[1] "We propose a standardised classification of early syngnathid development that extends from the activation of the egg to the release of newborn. The classification consists of four developmental periods - early embryogenesis, eye development, snout formation, and juvenile - which are further divided into 11 stages. Stages are characterised by morphological traits that are easily visible in live and preserved specimens using incident-light microscopy."

Standardised classification of pre-release development in male-brooding pipefish, seahorses, and seadragons (Family Syngnathidae)

BMC Dev Biol. 2012 Dec 29;12:39. doi: 10.1186/1471-213X-12-39.

Sommer S, Whittington CM, Wilson AB. Source Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zürich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, Zürich, CH-8057, Switzerland. stefan.sommer@ieu.uzh.ch.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Members of the family Syngnathidae share a unique reproductive mode termed male pregnancy. Males carry eggs in specialised brooding structures for several weeks and release free-swimming offspring. Here we describe a systematic investigation of pre-release development in syngnathid fishes, reviewing available data for 17 species distributed across the family. This work is complemented by in-depth examinations of the straight-nosed pipefish Nerophis ophidion, the black-striped pipefish Syngnathus abaster, and the potbellied seahorse Hippocampus abdominalis.

RESULTS: We propose a standardised classification of early syngnathid development that extends from the activation of the egg to the release of newborn. The classification consists of four developmental periods - early embryogenesis, eye development, snout formation, and juvenile - which are further divided into 11 stages. Stages are characterised by morphological traits that are easily visible in live and preserved specimens using incident-light microscopy.

CONCLUSIONS: Our classification is derived from examinations of species representing the full range of brooding-structure complexity found in the Syngnathidae, including tail-brooding as well as trunk-brooding species, which represent independent evolutionary lineages. We chose conspicuous common traits as diagnostic features of stages to allow for rapid and consistent staging of embryos and larvae across the entire family. In view of the growing interest in the biology of the Syngnathidae, we believe that the classification proposed here will prove useful for a wide range of studies on the unique reproductive biology of these male-brooding fish.


Common Name - Seahorse

Country Species
Cuba Hippocampus erectus
Malaysia Hippocampus erectus
Malaysia Hippocampus histrix
Malaysia Hippocampus kuda
Malaysia Hippocampus spinosissimus
Malaysia Hippocampus barbouri
Malaysia Hippocampus comes
Azores Islands Hippocampus histrix
Puerto Rico Hippocampus reidi
St Helena Hippocampus erectus
United Kingdom Hippocampus guttulatus

Table data from Fishbase.[2]

Developmental Stages

Then following images and staging information is from a study of N. ophidion, S. abaster, and H. abdominalis. development.[1]

Syngnathidae development 01.jpg

Figure 1 Early embryogenesis Descriptions of the four stages of the early-embryogenesis period, along with examples for each stage. (A) Animal-pole view of a zygote of N. ophidion ca. 45 min after mating. (B) Animal-pole view of a N. ophidion blastula during early cleavages. (C) Embryonic-shield stage in N. ophidion; the white circle represents the germ ring. (D) Primitive-streak embryo of S. abaster (dechorionated). Scale bars are 0.5 mm.


Syngnathidae development 02.jpg

Figure 2 Eye development Descriptions and schematic drawings of stage-defining eye-structures of the three stages of the eye-development period, along with examples for each stage. (A) Optic-vesicle stage in N. ophidion. (B) Optic-cup stage in S. abaster. (C) Eye-pigmentation stage in N. ophidion. All embryos were dechorionated prior to photographing. Scale bars are 0.5 mm.

Syngnathidae development 03.jpg

Figure 3 Snout formation. Descriptions of the three stages of the snout-formation period, along with examples for each stage. (A) S. abaster embryo (dechorionated) with ventrally developing jaws. (B) H. abdominalis larva with jaws rising frontally. (C) S. abaster larva with an elongated snout. Scale bars are 1 mm.

Syngnathidae development 04.jpg

Figure 4 Newborns of three syngnathid species. The newborn stage represents the first stage of the juvenile period and, for the purpose of this classification, refers to the first day post-release. Shown are (A) N. ophidion, (B) S. abaster, and (C) H. abdominalis. Scale bars are 2 mm.


References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Stefan Sommer, Camilla M Whittington, Anthony B Wilson Standardised classification of pre-release development in male-brooding pipefish, seahorses, and seadragons (Family Syngnathidae). BMC Dev. Biol.: 2012, 12;39 PubMed 23273265 | BMC Dev Biol.
  2. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2012. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (12/2012).

Reviews

Articles

Kai N Stölting, Anthony B Wilson Male pregnancy in seahorses and pipefish: beyond the mammalian model. Bioessays: 2007, 29(9);884-96 PubMed 17691105

A B Wilson, A Vincent, I Ahnesjö, A Meyer Male pregnancy in seahorses and pipefishes (family Syngnathidae): rapid diversification of paternal brood pouch morphology inferred from a molecular phylogeny. J. Hered.: 2001, 92(2);159-66 PubMed 11396574


Search Pubmed

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Note - This sub-heading shows an automated computer PubMed search using the listed sub-heading term. References appear in this list based upon the date of the actual page viewing. Therefore the list of references do not reflect any editorial selection of material based on content or relevance. In comparison, references listed on the content page and discussion page (under the publication year sub-headings) do include editorial selection based upon relevance and availability. (More? Pubmed Most Recent)


Syngnathidae Development

Maria L F Ternes, Leopoldo C Gerhardinger, Alexandre Schiavetti Seahorses in focus: local ecological knowledge of seahorse-watching operators in a tropical estuary. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed: 2016, 12(1);52 PubMed 27825355

Masahito Tsuboi, Jun Shoji, Atsushi Sogabe, Ingrid Ahnesjö, Niclas Kolm Within species support for the expensive tissue hypothesis: a negative association between brain size and visceral fat storage in females of the Pacific seaweed pipefish. Ecol Evol: 2016, 6(3);647-55 PubMed 26865955

Camilla M Whittington, Oliver W Griffith, Weihong Qi, Michael B Thompson, Anthony B Wilson Seahorse brood pouch transcriptome reveals common genes associated with vertebrate pregnancy. Mol. Biol. Evol.: 2015; PubMed 26330546

Ines Braga Goncalves, Ingrid Ahnesjö, Charlotta Kvarnemo The evolutionary puzzle of egg size, oxygenation and parental care in aquatic environments. Proc. Biol. Sci.: 2015, 282(1813);20150690 PubMed 26290070

Ines Braga Goncalves, Ingrid Ahnesjö, Charlotta Kvarnemo Embryo oxygenation in pipefish brood pouches: novel insights. J. Exp. Biol.: 2015, 218(Pt 11);1639-46 PubMed 26041030


Seahorse Development

Feixia Hou, Longlian Wen, Cheng Peng, Jinlin Guo Identification of marine traditional Chinese medicine dried seahorses in the traditional Chinese medicine market using DNA barcoding. Mitochondrial DNA A DNA Mapp Seq Anal: 2016;1-6 PubMed 27871217

Maria L F Ternes, Leopoldo C Gerhardinger, Alexandre Schiavetti Seahorses in focus: local ecological knowledge of seahorse-watching operators in a tropical estuary. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed: 2016, 12(1);52 PubMed 27825355

Rui Li, Frederik J Steyn, Michael B Stout, Kevin Lee, Tanya R Cully, Juan C Calderón, Shyuan T Ngo Development of a high-throughput method for real-time assessment of cellular metabolism in intact long skeletal muscle fibre bundles. J. Physiol. (Lond.): 2016; PubMed 27619319

Minyoung Oh, Don Anushka Sandaruwan Elvitigala, S D N K Bathige, Seongdo Lee, Myoung-Jin Kim, Jehee Lee Molecular and functional characterization of caspase-8 from the big-belly seahorse (Hippocampus abdominalis). Fish Shellfish Immunol.: 2016; PubMed 27732898

Mohammad Massumi, Farzaneh Pourasgari, Amarnadh Nalla, Battsetseg Batchuluun, Kristina Nagy, Eric Neely, Rida Gull, Andras Nagy, Michael B Wheeler An Abbreviated Protocol for In Vitro Generation of Functional Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Beta-Like Cells. PLoS ONE: 2016, 11(10);e0164457 PubMed 27755557


Pipefish Development

Anne Beemelmanns, Olivia Roth Bacteria-type-specific biparental immune priming in the pipefish Syngnathus typhle. Ecol Evol: 2016, 6(18);6735-6757 PubMed 27777744

Masahito Tsuboi, Jun Shoji, Atsushi Sogabe, Ingrid Ahnesjö, Niclas Kolm Within species support for the expensive tissue hypothesis: a negative association between brain size and visceral fat storage in females of the Pacific seaweed pipefish. Ecol Evol: 2016, 6(3);647-55 PubMed 26865955

Camilla M Whittington, Oliver W Griffith, Weihong Qi, Michael B Thompson, Anthony B Wilson Seahorse brood pouch transcriptome reveals common genes associated with vertebrate pregnancy. Mol. Biol. Evol.: 2015; PubMed 26330546

Ines Braga Goncalves, Ingrid Ahnesjö, Charlotta Kvarnemo The evolutionary puzzle of egg size, oxygenation and parental care in aquatic environments. Proc. Biol. Sci.: 2015, 282(1813);20150690 PubMed 26290070

Ines Braga Goncalves, Ingrid Ahnesjö, Charlotta Kvarnemo Embryo oxygenation in pipefish brood pouches: novel insights. J. Exp. Biol.: 2015, 218(Pt 11);1639-46 PubMed 26041030


Seadragon Development


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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2016) Embryology Seahorse Development. Retrieved December 8, 2016, from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Seahorse_Development

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