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Turkish Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 2018, Vol 18, Num, 10     (Pages: 1141-1145)

First Evidence of Artificial Fission in two Mediterranean Species of Holothurians: Holothuria tubulosa and Holothuria polii

Alfonso Toscano 1 ,Paola Cirino 1

1 1Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Research Infrastructures for Marine Biological Resources, Villa Comunale I, 80121 Naples, Italy DOI : 10.4194/1303-2712-v18_10_01 Viewed : 786 - Downloaded : 698 Holothurians, or sea cucumbers, are a common group of echinoderms occurring in most benthic marine habitats in temperate and tropical oceans. Sea cucumbers, already known as bioactive compounds producers, are increasingly seen as a new source of food worldwide. Actions to foster a sustainable development of the resource they represent are increasingly encouraged. Fission is a way of asexual reproduction reported in these organisms. This natural ability to split their body into two parts is generally shown by various tropical species of holothurians, but it has been never reported for Mediterranean species from Italian waters. Inducing fission in order to double individual numbers would be a promising option for culture and restocking purposes. The present study reports the first evidence of transverse induced fission, after experiments of fission stimulation, in two edible holothurian species from the Tyrrhenian Sea (Italy). Survival and regeneration times after being forced to undergo transverse fission are reported. Keywords : Echinoderms, induced fission, regeneration, sea cucumber, commercial important species, sustainable exploitation