Pawpaw seed as fertility control agent on male Nile tilapia

To find out if pawpaw (Carica papaya) seeds can induce sterility in male Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and to determine if sterility so induced is reversible or otherwise, mature male tilapia of mean weight 40 g were treated for 30 days with a low dose (4.9 g/kg/day) and a high dose (9.8 g/kg/day) of ground pawpaw seeds incorporated into their feed. Fish of similar sizes in the control experiment were fed with feed that did not contain pawpaw seed. The pawpaw seeds induced permanent sterility in the fish that received the high dose, while sterility in the low dose treatment was reversible. Fish in the control experiment spawned two weeks into the experiment and again in the fifth week. Fish in the low dose treatment spawned three weeks after the treatment had been discontinued. Histological sections of the testes showed that pawpaw seeds produced swollen nuclei in the low dose treatment and disintegrated cells in the high dose treatment. The study showed that pawpaw seeds, which are easy to obtain, can be incorporated into fish feeds and used by farmers to control prolific breeding of Nile tilapia.


Ekanemm, S.B., Okoronkwo, T.E. (2003)
NAGA 26(2): 8-10