Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 255-268

First online:

Chemical changes in fed and starved larval trout cod, Maccullochella macquarensis during early development

  • Rasanthi M. GunasekeraAffiliated withSchool of Ecology & Environment, Deakin University
  • , Sena S. De SilvaAffiliated withSchool of Ecology & Environment, Deakin University Email author 
  • , Brett A. IngramAffiliated withDepartment of Natural Resources and Environment, Marine & Freshwater Resources Institute

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The changes in proximate composition, amino acid (total and free) and fatty acid content of artificially propagated trout cod, Maccullochella macquariensis larvae from five mothers hatched, weaned and reared separately, each in two groups, one fed with Artemia naupli and the other starved, for 15 days (after yolk resorption), are presented. There was no significant change in the proximate composition of fed larvae with devlopment, but in starved larvae the protein (linearly) and lipid (curvi-linearly) content decreased significantly as starvation progressed. The essential amino acids (EAA) and non- essential amino acids (NEAA) found in highest amounts in trout cod larvae were lysine, leucine, threonine and arginine, and alanine, serine and glutamic acid, respectively. In fed larvae the total amino acid (TAA), TEAA and TNEAA content did not vary significantly as development progressed. In starved larvae the TAA, EAA and NEAA content, as well as all the individual amino acids decreased significantly (P<0.05) from the levels in day of hatch and/or yolk-sac resorbed larvae. The greatest decrease occurred in the TEAA content (7.38±0.76 at day of hatch to 1.96±0.09 15 day starved in μmoles larva−1; approximately a 74% decrease), whereas the decrease in TNEAA was about 38%. Unlike in the case of TAA distinct changes in the free amino acid (FAA) pool were discernible, from day of hatch and onwards, in both fed and starved trout cod larvae. In both groups of larvae the most noticeable being the decrease of % FEAA in TFAA, but not the % FAA in TAA. Four fatty acids together, accounted for more than 50% of the total in each of the major fatty acid categories in all larvae sampled; 16: 0, 18:1n-9, 22: 6n-3 and 20: 4n-6, amongst saturates, monoenes, n-3 PUFA and n-6 PUFA, respectively. Twelve fatty acids either decreased (14: 0, 16: 1n-7, 20: 1n-9, 20: 4n-6, 20: 5n-3, 22: 5n-3 and 22: 6n-3) or increased (18: 2n-6, 18: 3n-3, 18: 3n-6, 18: 4n-3 and 20: 3n-3) in quantity, after 15 days of feeding, from the base level in day of hatch and/ or yolk- sac resorbed larvae. The greatest increase occurred in 18: 3n-3 from 6.4±0.1 to 106.2±13.1 μg mg lipid−1 larva−1, and the greatest decrease occurred in 22: 6n-3 (181.2±12.4 to 81.4±6.2 μg mg lipid−1 larva−1). In starved larvae, at the end of 15 days, all the fatty acids, except 18: 0, 20: 3n-3 and 20: 4n-6, decreased significantly (P<0.05) from the levels in day of hatch and/or yolk- sac resorbed larvae.

protein and lipid accretion amino acids fatty acids energy sources ontogeny Percichthyidae