Supplementary Material for: Germline Development of Genetically Female Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) Reared under Different Temperature Regimes

In teleosts, elevated temperature during embryogenesis can act on germline cell development, which in turn plays a role for sexual fate. In Nile tilapia, a species with high-temperature-induced masculinization, little is known about the effects of increased temperature on gonadal development in non-masculinized females. The aim of the present work was to investigate persistent effects on the germline of genetically female (XX) Nile tilapia reared at normal (28°C) or elevated temperature (36°C) during the critical time of gonadal sex differentiation at 10 to 20 days post fertilization. Non-sex-reversed females were compared to control females to determine persistent effects of temperature on subsequent ovarian development using histological approaches. Germline stem cells were identified using the germline marker Vasa in combination with the proliferation marker PCNA. Vasa- and PCNA-positive germline stem cells were found in ovaries of both high-temperature-treated and control females. In both groups, ovarian germline stem cells were located at the germinal epithelium of the ovigerous lamellae. Although no detrimental effects of high temperature on gonadal development in female Nile tilapia were observed, implications on the reproductive fitness caused by elevated temperature need to be investigated in greater depth.