Determining the diet of larvae of the red rock lobster (Jasus edwardsii) using high-throughput DNA sequencing techniques
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- O’Rorke, R., Lavery, S.D., Wang, M. et al. Mar Biol (2014) 161: 551. doi:10.1007/s00227-013-2357-7
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The diet of Jasus edwardsii during its ~2-year larval (phyllosoma) phase is largely unknown. High mortalities experienced during larviculture might be reduced if their diet were nutritionally modelled on the natural diet. Here, prey species were identified from phyllosoma midgut glands using 454 pyrosequencing of 18S rDNA. We found that gelatinous zooplankton, particularly Siphonophora and Ctenophora, occurred frequently in the midgut glands of phyllosomas, resolving previous conjecture that these animals are in the diet of J. edwardsii phyllosomas. A high occurrence of sequencing reads from unicellular microbes may also reflect a reliance on scavenging detritus.