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Chinese researchers facilitate natural Dabry's sturgeon breeding

(People's Daily Online)    15:12, October 09, 2016
Chinese researchers facilitate natural Dabry's sturgeon breeding
Dabry's sturgeon (file photo)

Researchers at Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute have successfully helped Dabry's sturgeon to breed without using any stimulants.

Dabry's sturgeon is Class A protected fish in China that lives in the upper and middle reaches of the Yangtze River. The fish lost its ability to breed naturally in 2000 due to water pollution and overfishing. Soon after, artificial breeding techniques were introduced to protect the fish. However, research has shown that the artificial breeding technique can lead to biological changes and the loss of certain natural functions.

Du Hao, a researcher at the institute, explained the recent experiment. Four female fish and six males were put into an environment simulating a natural river for more than 10 days. One of the females lay 32,000 eggs, and at least one male was involved in fertilization. Twenty-two baby fish were bred by the end of the experiment.

Wei Qiwei, chief scientist at the institute, confirmed that no stimulants were used in the experiment. The experiment therefore marks a breakthrough in biomimetic breeding techniques, showing that the secretion system of the Dabry's sturgeon can be stimulated to achieve natural mating by an adjustment to the environment.

The experiment will likely help to increase the population of the fish, as well as assist with the protection of other endangered fish, Wei added.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Du Mingming, Bianji)

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