The present study examined whether light emitted by long-afterglow phosphorescent pigments (LumiNova) would stimulate gonadal development in fish during the nonbreeding season. Pellets containing LumiNova powder (treatment group) were prepared and placed on the calvaria of specimens of the sapphire devil Chrysiptera cyanea, a reef-associated damselfish that requires long days for gonadal recrudescence. A pellet without LumiNova powder was placed on the calvaria of the control fish (control group). Fish were reared at 26°C under a light-dark cycle (12 h photophase, 12 h scotophase; LD 12:12) for 4 weeks. No difference in the gonadosomatic index (GSI) or ovarian histology was observed among the control, sham-operation, and treatment groups 1 week after the start of the experiment. After 4 weeks, the GSI of the control and sham-operation groups remained at low levels, and ovaries contained immature oocytes at the perinucleolus stage. In contrast, the treatment group exhibited significantly higher values of GSI as well as developed ovaries with fully vitellogenic oocytes. These results demonstrated that long-day conditions were produced by light emitted from the LumiNova pellets, thus stimulating ovarian development in the damselfish. Therefore, long-afterglow phosphorescent pigments can be used as an alternative to standard light sources for purposes of artificial stimulation of gonadal development in fish.
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