Tasks and Timeline
1st Progress Report
2nd Progress Report
Milestone 1 - The accomplishment of Task T2 - Task T2 has an associated milestone which is the establishment of a suitable method to assess the olfactory potency of a given odorant emitted by mature cuttlefish (either male or female, or both) in task T3.
Milestone 2 - The accomplishment of Task T1 - Task T1 has an associated milestone which is the determination of the best culture setup to obtain eggs in quantity and quality. Data from this task are considered of extreme importance for the correct assessment of optimal conditions made in task T9.
Milestone 3 - The accomplishment of Task T3 - Task T3 has an associated milestone which is the determination of the composition of a given pheromone released in the water by mature cuttlefish that will be used in task T7.
Milestone 4 - The accomplishment of Task T4 - Task T4 has an associated milestone which is the determination of different behaviors under different culture conditions. Data from this task is considered of extreme importance for the correct assessment of optimal broodstock conditions made in task T9.
Milestone 5 - The accomplishment of Task T7 - Task T7 will allow us to perceive to which point cuttlefish maturation may be influenced by the use of pheromones. Data from this task is considered of extreme importance for the correct assessment of optimal conditions made in task T9.
Milestone 6 - The accomplishment of genetic related tasks: T5, T6 and T8 - Determination of parental contribution at given culture conditions, the extent of inbreeding and of genetic pool renewal of consecutive cultured cuttlefish generations is considered of extreme importance for the correct assessment of optimal conditions made in task T9.
T1 - Enhancing Culture Conditions
To optimize the existing culture conditions using increased bottom areas/tank volume.
To determine an optimized tank setup for increased reproduction numbers and samples for use in tasks T3, T4, T5, T6 and T9.
T2 - Basic anatomy and physiology of the olfactory system
1) To identify olfactory receptor neurons and other types of cells in the olfactory system, and its gross morphology;
2) To develop/adapt a method to test the functional sensitivity of the olfactory bulb to known odorants.
To establish a suitable method to record from the olfactory system and be used in task T3.
T3 - Importance of chemical communication in reproduction
To investigate olfactory discrimination between the sexes during reproduction.
To identify reproduction related odorants (putative pheromones) at given culture conditions. After the identification of the odorants, their biological role(s) in cuttlefish reproduction will be investigated (task T7).
T4 - Biological and behavioral aspects related with reproduction
To assess the effect of different culture conditions in the social and reproductive behavior.
To have an insight on cuttlefish reproductive behavior with possible establishment of mating hierarchies and the emergence/existence of sneaker males under different culture conditions. It will provide and overall contribute for task T9.
T5 - Paternity analysis of different culture conditions
To estimate the contribution of each male to offspring production.
This task will provide information on the contribution of each male within each generation for the production of offspring, especially in samples from tasks T1 and T8. Results from this task will be related to those obtained from task T6 in order to estimate the impact of eventual uneven mating in heterozygosis decrease. Results from the comparative use of two methods of parentage assessment will also be provided and will indicate which is the most appropriate for future studies in S. officinalis. Finally, results from this task will provide information on the operational sex ratio to be used in large-scale cuttlefish culture.
T6 - Analysis of inbreeding in consecutive cultured generations
To investigate the putative effect of inbreeding in consecutive generations of cultivated cuttlefish.
This task will provide information on the increase of the rate of inbreeding in consecutive generations at given culture conditions. This information is extremely important because it indicates the time in generations required for inbreeding to increase to critical levels. The rate of inbreeding increase also determines how effectively selective pressures can be used to mitigate the effects of inbreeding, such as those implemented in task T8.
T7 - Manipulation of reproduction using pheromones
To determine if cuttlefish reproduction may be manipulated using pheromones
To promote cuttlefish reproduction using putative pheromones in order to obtain eggs in quantity and quality at a determined time. To cross data with other tasks of this project in task T9.
T8 - Effect of systematic line crossing
To investigate the effects of introducing an unrelated broodstock to cross with existing inbred individuals (systematic line crossing) and to examine up to which point this contributes to break up the gene combinations (homozygosity).
Results from this task will indicate up to which point systematic line crossing reduces the rate of inbreeding accumulation, therefore preventing inbreeding in consecutive generations. It will also provide additional data regarding the growth and reproduction of this line of breeding against the normal.
T9 - Elaboration of a cuttlefish breeding protocol
To write a cuttlefish breeding protocol based on the project task results.
Results from this task will indicate up to which point the variables studied in the different fields of research are or aren’t correlated between them and with cuttlefish fecundity, fertility and viability. The elaboration of a first management and selective breeding protocol for cuttlefish reproduction in captivity.
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