Abstract

The genus Gobiobotia in Korea has only three species and all are endemic benthic freshwater fishes. Their oocytes were observed by light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy to investigate the characteristics of the zona radiata (ZR), a non-cellular envelope, which surrounds the egg. Various developmental cells appeared during the spawning season. During the yolk vesicles stage, which yolk vesicles are spherically developed in periphery of the cytoplasm and gradually increase in its number and size, the ZR becomes visible between its follicular layer and ooplasm. The morphological appearance of the ZR of each of the three species was unique: G. brevibarba had a ZR with villous structures, whereas that of G. macrocephala was honeycomb-like with porous structures. In contrast, G. naktongensis had a ZR with no structural modifications during oogenesis. Such differences in the same genus are not common. These results indicate that the structure of the ZR is a useful character for identification of the genus Gobiobotia and may reflect the types of microhabitats they inhabit.

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