New production method of a hormone that Induces Spawning in Carp

Levavi-Sivan Berta , HUJI, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, Animal Sciences

P. pastoris yeast enables abundant production of LH recombinant protein


  • Cyprinid fish include the common carp, which is the food fish most widely produced by aquaculture worldwide, ornamental goldfish, and koi, costly fish that are also produced by aquaculture.
  • Induced spawning in cyprinid fish has traditionally been carried out by the hypophyseal approach, utilizing a calibrated carp pituitary extract (CCPE) containing a predetermined dose of gonadotropin (GtH).
  • Increasing demand for cyprinids has led to a shortfall in the supply of pituitaries so the demand for the calibrated extract can no longer be met.
  • Another method, based on the stimulation of endogenous GtH release by a superactive analogue of piscine gonadotropin-releasing hormone (sGnRHa) combined with a dopamine receptor antagonist which potentiates the response to the peptide, is not efficient early or late in the season due to the low quantity of LH in the pituitary.
  • New biotechnological method results in the abundant production of carp LH.

Our Innovation

Method for producing the cyprinid spawning agent LH recombinant protein as a biologically active, single-chain polypeptide, using the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris. 

Key Features

  • Enables abundant spawning.

Table: Female body weight, oocyte diameter and latency period are expressed as mean ± SEM.

1 Mean±SEM of females body weight (g) in experiment group.

2 Mean±SEM of oocyte diameter (µm) in experiment group.

3 Latency periods: the interval between resolving injection and spawning in hr.

4 Spawning success (%): the number of females which ovulated after injection divided by the total   number of injected females.

5 Fertilization (%): the number of eggs that were fertilized divided by the total number of eggs sampled.

  • Method is efficient during most of the year.
  • Simple method
  • Enables the production of both males and females

Development Milestones

  • Seeking funding and industrial cooperation to conduct research into the optimal dosage from which more exact costing can be estimated. 
  • Future work involves improving the molecule in order to decrease the dosage.

The Opportunity

  • According to FAO projections, it is estimated that in order to maintain the current level of per capita consumption, global aquaculture production will need to reach 80 million tonnes by 2050.
  • Forty percent of the world aquaculture production of fish, crustaceans and molluscs is carp. 

Contact for more information:

Ilya Pittel
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