Reproductive biology of the rayed pearl oyster (Pinctada imbricata radiata, Leach 1814) in Izmir Bay

Selcuk Yigitkurt

Paper category: Original research paper
Corresponding author: Selcuk Yigitkurt (
DOI: 10.2478/oandhs-2021-0009
Received: 26/06/2020
Accepted: 01/10/2020
Full text: here

Citation (APA style): Yigitkurt, S. (2021). Reproductive biology of the rayed pearl oyster (Pinctada imbricata radiata, Leach 1814) in Izmir Bay. Oceanological and Hydrobiological Studies, 50(1), 87-97.


The present study was carried out to determine gonadal stages and quality of pearl oyster meat (Pinctada imbricata radiata, Leach, 1814) in Izmir Bay (Turkey). Pearl oyster samples were collected from the study area at a depth of ~5 m between February 2013 and January 2014. The highest and lowest temperature was measured in July and January as 27°C and 14.2°C, respectively. The maximum chlorophyll a value of 4.640 µg l−1 was calculated in May and the lowest value of 1.009 µg l−1 was recorded in April. Individuals reached their first maturity in April. Spawning activity was observed from June to September and the gonad index (GI) was at the highest level during those months. The development was observed from April to February. The overall female to male ratio was 1.32:1 (p < 0.05) and it did not affect the GI (p > 0.05). There is a strong positive correlation between the GI and temperature (p < 0.05). The highest condition index (CI) was recorded in May as 12.31 ± 0.51, whereas the lowest one in January as 7.37 ± 0.22. As a result, this study revealed that the pearl oyster population in the region is characterized by high reproductive activity, especially during the summer months.



Acarlı, S., Lök, A., Acarlı, D. & Küçükdermenci, A. (2018). Gamogenetic cycle, condition index and meat yield of the Noah’s Ark shell (Arca noae Linnaeus, 1758) from Gerence Bay, Aegean Sea Turkey. Ege Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 35(2): 141–149. DOI: 10.12714/egejfas.2018.35.2.06.
Aideed, M.S., Ahmed, B.A. & Mukhaysin, A.A. (2014). Existence, growth and reproduction of pearl oyster Pinctada margaritifera in Hadhramout coast/Gulf of Aden. Egyptian Journal of Aquatic Research 40: 473–481. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejar.2014.12.004.
Antit, M., Gofas, S., Salas, C. & Azzouna, A. (2011). One hundred years after Pinctada: an update on alien Mollusca in Tunisia. Mediterranean Marine Science 12(1): 53–73. DOI: 10.12681/mms.53.
Baqueiro, E. & Castagna, M. (1988). Fishery and culture of selected bivalves in Mexico: past, present and future. Journal of Shellfish Research 7(3): 433–443.
Behzadi, S., Parivar, K. & Roustaian, P. (1997). Gonadal cycle of pearl oyster, Pinctada fucata (Gould) in Northeast Persian Gulf, Iran. Journal of Shellfish Research 16(1): 124–135.
Choi, Y.H. & Chang, Y.J. (2003). Gametogenic cycle of the transplanted cultured pearl oyster, Pinctada fucata martensii (Bivalvia: Pteriidae) in Korea. Aquaculture 220: 781–790. DOI: 10.1016/S0044-8486(02)00304-6.
Crosby, M.P. & Gale, D.L. (1990). A review and evaluation of bivalve condition index methodologies with a suggested standard method. Journal of Shellfish Research 9(1): 233–237.
Dautzenberg, P. (1895). Campagne de la Melita, 1892: Mollusques recueillis sur les côtes de la Tunisie et de l’Algérie. Mémoires de la Société Zoologique de France 8: 363–373.
Delgado, M. & Camacho, A.P. (2007). Influence of temperature on gonadal development of Ruditapes philippinarum (Adams and Reeve, 1850) with special reference to ingested food and energy balance. Aquaculture 264: 398–407. DOI: 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2006.11.009.
Derbali, A., Jarboui, O., Ghorbel, M. & Dhieb, K. (2009). Reproductive biology of the pearl oyster, Pinctada radiata (Mollusca: Pteriidae), in northern Kerkennah Island (Gulf of Gabes). Cahiers de Biologie Marine 50: 215–222.
Derbali, A., Jarboui, O. & Ghorbel, M. (2011). Distribution, abundance and population structure of Pinctada radiata (Mollusca: Bivalvia) in southern Tunisian waters (Central Mediterranean). Cahiers de Biologie Marine 52: 23–31.
Dogan, A. & Nerlovic, V. (2008). On the occurrence of Pinctada radiata (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Pteriidae) an alien species in Croatian waters. Acta Adriatica 49(2): 155–158.
Deidun, A., Gianni, F., Cilia, D.P., Lodola, A. & Savini, D. (2014). Morphometric analyses of a Pinctada radiata (Leach, 1814) (Bivalvia: Pteriidae) population in the Maltese Islands. Journal of Black Sea/Mediterranean Environment 20(1): 1–12.
Fernandez-Reiriz, M.J., Labarta, U. & Babarro, J.M.F. (1996). Comparative allometries in growth and chemical composition of mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis Lmk) cultured in two zones in the Ria sada (Galicia, NWSpain). Journal of Shellfish Research 15(2): 349–353.
Gavrilovic, A., Piria, M., Guo, X.Z., Jug-Dujakovićf, J., Ljubučićg, A. et al. (2017). First evidence of establishment of the rayed pearl oyster, Pinctada imbricata radiata (Leach, 1814), in the eastern Adriatic Sea. Marine Pollution Bulletin 125: 556–560. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.10.045.
Gervis, M.H. & Sims, N.A. (1992). The biology and culture of pearl oysters (Bivalvia: Pteriidae). ICLARM Studies and Reviews 21: 1–56.
Gómez, F. & Gorsky, G. (2003). Annual microplankton cycles in Villefranche Bay, Ligurian Sea, NW Mediterranean. Journal of Plankton Research 25: 323–339. DOI: 10.1093/plankt/25.4.323.
Gosling, E. (2003). Bivalve molluscs – biology, ecology and culture: Oxford, Fishing News Books.
Gribben, P.E., Creese, R.G. & Hooker, S.H. (2001). The reproductive cycle of the New Zealand venus clam Ruditapes largillierti. Journal of Shellfish Research 20: 1101–1108.
Hernandez-Olalde, L., Garcia-Dominguez, F., Arellano-Martinez, M. & Ceballos-Vazquez, B.P. (2007). Reproductive cycle of the pearl oyster Pteria sterna (Pteriidae) in the Ojo de Liebre Lagoon, B.C.S, Maxico. Journal of Shellfish Research 26(2): 543–548. DOI: 10.2983/0730-8000(2007)26[543:RCOTPO]2.0.CO;2.
Howard, D.W., Lewis, E.J., Keller, B.J., Smith, C.S. (1983). Histological Techniques for Marine Bivalve Molluscs and crustaceans. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 5. (218p).
Hwang, J. (2007). Reproductive cycles of the pearl oysters, Pinctada fucata (Gould) and Pinctada margaritifera (Linnaeus) (Bivalve: Petriidae) in southwestern Taiwan waters. Journal of Marine Science and Technology 15(2): 67–75.
Karami, AM., Khodabandeh, S., Rameshi, H. & Hasanabadi, ZZ. (2014). Seasonal Histological Comparison of Gonad and Gametogenesis in Female Pearl Oyster (Pinctada radiata) of the Persian Gulf. Journal of the Persian Gulf (Marine Science) 5(8): 17–24.
Katsanevakis, S., Zenetos, A., Macic, V., Beqiraj, S. & Poursanidis, D. (2011). Invading the Adriatic: spatial patterns of marine alien species across the Ionian–Adriatic boundary. Aquatic Biology 13: 107–118. DOI: 10.3354/ab00357.
Khamdan, S.A.A. (1998). Aspects of reproduction in the pearl oyster, Pinctada radiata (Leach). In A. Otsuki, M.Y. Abdulraheem & R.M. Reynolds (Eds.), Offshore environment of the ROPME (Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment) sea area after the war-related oil spill. Results of the 1993-94 umitaka-Maru Cruises (pp. 203–214). Tokyo: Terra Scientific Publishing Company (TER-RAPUB).
Kimani, E.N., Mavuti, K.M. & Mukimam, T. (2006). The reproductive activity of the pearl oyster Pinctada imbricata Röding 1798 (Pteriidae) in Gazi Bay, Kenya. Tropical Zoology 19: 159–174.
Lassoued, M., Damak, W. & Chaffai, A. (2018). Reproductive cycle of the pearl oyster, Pinctada radiata (Mollusca: Pteridae), in the Zarat site (Gulf of Gabès, Tunisia). Euro-Mediterranean Journal for Environmental Integration 3: 18. DOI: 10.1007/s41207-018-0056-y.
Lillie, R.D. (1965). Histopathologic technic and practical histochemistry. 3rd ed. McGraw-Hill, New York. (551 p.).
Le Moullac, G., Hui, B., Vonau, V., Levy, P. & Cochard, J. (2009). Effect of food conditioning on gonadic activity in the oyster Pinctada margaritifera. 11th Pacific Science Inter-Congress, 02-06 March, Tahiti, French Polynesia.
Le Moullac, G., Tiapari, J., Teissier, H., Matinez, E. & Cochard, J.C. (2012). Growth and gonad development of the tropical black-lip pearl oyster, Pinctada margaritifera (L.), in the Gambier archipelago (French Polynesia). Aquaculture International 20: 305–315. DOI: 10.1007/s10499-011-9460-x.
Lodeiros, C., Pico, D., Prieto, A., Narvaez, N. & Guerra, A. (2002). Growth and survival of the pearl oyster Pinctada imbricata (Röding 1758) in suspended and bottom culture in the Golfo de Cariaco, Venezuela. Aquaculture international 10: 327–338.
Lodola, A., Nicolini, L., Savini, D., Deidun, A. & Occhipinti-Ambrogi, A. (2013). Range expansion and biometric features of Pinctada imbricata radiata (Bivalvia: Pteriidae) around Linosa Island, Central Mediterranean Sea (Italy). Italian Journal of Zoology 80(2): 303–312. DOI: 10.1080/112500003.2013.775363.
O’Connor, W.A. & Lawler, N.F. (2004). Reproductive condition of the pearl oyster, Pinctada imbricata, Röding, in Port Stephens, New South Wales, Australia. Aquaculture Research 35: 385–396. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2109.2004.01027.x.
Okumus, I. & Stirling, H.P. (1998). Seasonal variations in the meat weight, Condition Index and biochemical composition of mussels (Mytilus edulis L.) in suspended culture in two Scottish sea lochs. Aquaculture 159(3–4): 249–261. DOI: 10.1016/S0044-8486(97)00206-8.
Peharda, M., Mladineo, I., Bolotin, J., Kekez, L. & Skaramuca, B. (2006). The reproductive cycle and potential protandric development of the Noah’s Ark shell, Arca noae L.: Implications for aquaculture. Aquaculture 252: 317–327. DOI: 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2005.07.007.
Petovic, S. & Macic, V. (2017). New data on Pinctada radiata (Leach, 1814) (Bivalvia: Pteriidae) in the Adriatic Sea. Acta Adriatica 58(2): 359–364. DOI: 10.32582/aa.58.2.14.
Quintana, R. (2005). Effect of Estradiol-17β on the gonadal development of diploid and triploid female eastern oysters. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Universidad Autonoma de Baja California.
Raleigh, J. & Keegan, F.B. (2006). The gametogenic cycle of Scrobicularia plana (Mollusca :Bivalvia) in Mweeloon Bay (Galway, west coast of Ireland). Journal of Marine Biological Association of the UK 86: 1157–1162. DOI: 10.1017/S0025315406014135.
Sahin, C., Düzgunes, E. & Okumus, I. (2006). Seasonal Variations in Condition Index and Gonadal Development of the Introduced Blood Cockle Anadara inaequivalvis (Bruguiere, 1789) in the Southeastern Black Sea Coast. Turkish Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 6: 155–163.
Sastry, A.N. (1979). Pelecypoda (excluding Ostreidae). In A.C. Giese & J.S. Pearse (Eds.), Reproduction of Marine Invertebrates. Academic Press, New York 5: 131–195.
Saucedo, P., Monteforte, M. (1997). Breeding cycle of pearl oysters Pinctada mazatlanica and Pteria sterna (Bivalvia: Pteriidae) at Bahia de La Paz Baja California Sur, Mexico. Journal of Shellfish Research 16: 103–110.
Saucedo, P., Rodruguez-Jaramillo, C., Aldana-Aviles, C., Monsalvo-Spencer, P., Reynoso-Granados, T. et al. (2001). Gonadic conditioning of the calafia mother-of-pearl oyster, Pinctada mazatlanica (Hanley, 1856), under two temperature regimes. Aquaculture 195: 103–119. DOI: 10.1016/S0044-8486(00)00552-4.
Searcy-Bernal, R. (1984). Un estudio sobre la condicion de la Almeja Pismo Tivela stultorum con datos de longitud y peso de la carne de capturas comerciales. Ciencias Marinas 9: 19–30. (In Spanish).
Shaw, B.L. & Battle, H.I. (1957). The gross and microscopic anatomy of the digestive tract of the oyster Crassostrea virginica (Gmelin). Canadian Journal of Zoology 35: 325–347.
Sreftaris, N., Zenetos, A. & Papathanassiou, E. (2005). Globalisation in marine ecosystems: The story of non-indigenous marine species across European Seas. Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review 43: 419–453.
Soria, R.G., Pascual, M.S. & Cartes, V.H.F. (2002). Reproductive cycle of the Cholga paleta, Atrina seminuda Lamarck, 1819 (Bivalvia: Pinnidae) from Northern Patagonia, Argentina. Journal of Shellfish Research 21(2): 479–488.
Steel, D.H. & Steel, V.J. (1991). Effects of salinity on the survival, growth rate, and reproductive output of Gammarus lawrencianus (Crustacea, Amphipoda). Marine Ecology Progress Series 78: 49–56.
Strickland, J.D.H. & Parsons, T.R. (1972). A practical handbook of seawater analysis. Fisheries Research Board of Canada, Bulletin (167p.).
Suarez, M.P., Alvarez, C., Molist, P. & San Juan, F. (2005). Particular Aspects of Gonadal Cycle and Seasonal Distribution of Gametogenic Stages of Mytilus Galloprovincialis Cultured in the Estuary of Vigo. Journal of Shellfish Research 24(2): 531–540. DOI: 10.2983/0730-8000(2005)24[531:PAOGCA]2.0.CO;2.
Theodorou, J.A., Perdikaris, C. & Spinos, E. (2019). On the occurrence of rayed pearl oyster Pinctada imbricata radiata (Leach, 1814) in Western Greece (Ionian Sea) and its biofouling potential. Biharean Biologist 13(1): 4–7.
Tlig-Zouari, S., Rabaoui, L., Irathni, I., Diawara, M. & Ben Hassine, O.K. (2010). Comparative morphometric study of the invasive pearl oyster Pinctada radiata along the Tunisian coastline. Biologia 65(2): 294–300. DOI: 10.2478/s11756-010-0023-9.
Tranter, D.J. (1958). Reproduction in Australian pearl oysters (Lamellibranchia) I. Pinctada albina (Lamarck): primary gonad development. Aust. Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 9: 135–143.
Urban, H.J. (2000). Culture potential of the pearl oyster (Pinctada imbricata) from the caribbean. I. Gametogenic activity, growth, mortality and production of a natural population. Aquaculture 189: 361–373. DOI: 10.1016/S0044-8486(00)00393-8.
Valiela, I. & Cebrián, J. (1999). Seasonal patterns in phytoplankton biomass in coastal ecosystems. Journal of Plankton Research 21: 429–444. DOI: 10.1093/plankt/21.3.429.
Wada, K.T., Komaru, A., Uchimura, Y. & Kurosaki, H. (1995). Spawning occurs during winter in the Japanese subtropical population of the pearl oyster, Pinctada fucata fucata (Gould, 1850). Aquaculture 133: 207–214. DOI: 10.1016/0044-8486(95)00011-P.
Walne, P.R. (1976). Experiments on the culture of the Butterfish Venerupis deccussata L. Aquaculture 8: 371–381. DOI: 10.1016/0044-8486(76)90119-8.
Yigitkurt, S., Lök, A., Kırtık, A., Küçükdermenci, A. & Kurtay, E. (2017). Preliminary results of spat collection of rayed pearl oyster (Pinctada radiata) in Turkey. Ege Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 34(2): 211–218. DOI: 10.12714/egejfas.2017.34.2.13.
Yigitkurt, S., Lök, A., Kirtik, A., Acarli, S., Kurtay, E. et al. (2020). Spat efficiency in the pearl oyster Pinctada radiata (Leach, 1814) in the surface and bottom water at Karantina Island. Oceanological and Hydrobiological Studies 49(2): 99–205. DOI: 10.1515/ohs-2020-0017.
Zar, J.H. (1996). Biostatistical analysis. 3rd ed. Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ.
Zouari, S.T. & Zaouali, J. (1994). Reproduction of Pinctada radiata in Kerkennah Islands (Tunisia). Marine Life 4(1): 41–45.