Most Australian frogs fall into two deeply split lineages, conveniently referred to as ground frogs (Myobatrachidae and Limnodynastidae) and tree frogs (Pelodryadidae). Species of both lineages are endangered because of the global chytrid pandemic, and there is increasing interest and research on the endocrine manipulation of reproduction to support the use of assisted reproductive technologies in conservation. Hormonal induction of gamete release in males and females is one such manipulation of the reproductive process. This paper reviews progress in temperate ground and tree frogs towards developing simple and efficient hormonal protocols for induction of spermiation and ovulation, and presents some new data, that together build towards an understanding of advances and obstacles towards progress in this area. We report that protocols for the non-invasive induction of sperm release, relying on single doses of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) or human chorionic gonadotropin are very effective in both ground and tree frog species investigated to date. However, we find that, while protocols based on GnRH, and GnRH and dopamine antagonists, are moderately efficient in inducing ovulation in ground frogs, the same cannot be said for the use of such protocols in tree frogs. Although induced ovulation in the pelodryadid tree frogs has not been successfully implemented, and is difficult to explain in terms of the underlying endocrinology, we propose future avenues of investigation to address this problem, particularly the need for a source of purified or recombinant follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinising hormone for species from this group.
- hormonal induction
- Australian temperate frogs