Aquaculture International

, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 1075–1082 | Cite as

The effects of continuous photoperiod (24L:0D) on growth of juvenile barramundi (Lates calcarifer)

  • K. L. Worrall
  • C. G. Carter
  • R. J. Wilkinson
  • M. J. R. Porter
Original Research


The efficacy of photoperiod manipulation to influence growth and developmental processes is well documented in a range of temperate aquaculture species. However, the application of such techniques with tropical species requires further investigation. This preliminary 20-day study investigated the influence of continuous photoperiod on growth of barramundi (Lates calcarifer). In addition, diel plasma melatonin profiles provided a physiological measure of how the endocrine system of barramundi responded to continuous photoperiod. Juvenile barramundi (1.33 ± 0.02 g) were held in recirculation systems under 12-h light: 12-h dark (12L:12D) or 24-h light (24L:0D) with a light intensity of 1,000 lux throughout the water column. Fish from both treatments grew to more than 14 times their original weight, with final weight (24L:0D = 21.59 ± 0.85 g; 12L:12D = 19.12 ± 0.55 g), total length (24L:0D = 12.67 ± 0.14 cm; 12L:12D = 11.96 ± 0.13 cm) and specific growth rate (24L:0D = 9.60 ± 0.05% bw day−1; 12L:12D = 9.14 ± 0.06% bw day−1) being significantly higher for fish grown on 24L:0D compared with 12L:12D. There were no significant differences in feed intake (24L:0D = 226.46 ± 6.27 g; 12L:12D = 219.02 ± 5.73 g) or feed conversion ratio (24L:0D = 0.71 ± 0.06; 12L:12D = 0.80 ± 0.07) between light treatments. Barramundi held under 12L:12D exhibited diel melatonin secretion, which peaked mid-dark phase (171.83 ± 4.81 pg ml−1) followed by a gradual decrease in base levels at the onset of illumination (68.61 ± 8.77 pg ml−1). When juvenile barramundi were subjected to 24L:0D, the amplitude of peak melatonin secretion was significantly suppressed during the subjective mid-dark phase (129.71 ± 2.36 pg ml−1). This preliminary study confirmed that barramundi respond to photoperiod manipulation in a similar manner to many temperate fish species, thus demonstrating the future potential use of artificial lighting to improve growth in this species commercially.


Asian sea bass Barramundi Growth performance Lates calcarifer Melatonin Artificial lighting 


  1. Bayarri MJ, Rodriguez L, Zanuy S, Madrid JA, Sanchez-Vazquez FJ, Kagawa H, Okuzawa K, Carillo M (2004) Effect of photoperiod manipulation on the daily rhythms of melatonin and reproductive hormones in caged European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax). Gen Comp Endocr 136:72–81PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Biswas AK, Endo M, Takeuchi T (2002) Effect of different photoperiod cycles on metabolic rate and energy loss of both fed and unfed young tilapia Oreochromis niloticus. Part I. Fisher Sci 68:465–477CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Biswas AK, Seoka M, Inove Y, Takii K, Kumai H (2005) Photoperiod influences the growth, food intake, feed efficiency and digestibility of red sea bream (Pagrus major). Aquaculture 250:666–673CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Biswas AK, Seoka M, Ueno K, Takii K, Kumai H (2008) Stimulation of growth performance without causing stress response in young red sea bream, Pagrus major, (Temminck and Schlegel) by photoperiod. Aquac Res 39:457–463CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boeuf G, Falcon J (2001) Photoperiod and growth in fish. Vie Milieu 51:247–266Google Scholar
  6. Boeuf G, Le Bail PY (1999) Does light have an influence on fish growth? Aquaculture 177:129–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bolliet V, Ali MA, Lapointe FJ, Falcon J (1996) Rhythmic melatonin secretion in different teleost species: an in vitro study. J Comp Physiol 165B:677–683Google Scholar
  8. Bromage N, Porter M, Randall C (2001) The environmental regulation of maturation in farmed finfish with special reference to the role of photoperiod and melatonin. Aquaculture 197:63–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Davie A, de Quero CM, Bromage N, Treasurer J, Migaud H (2007a) Inhibition of sexual maturation in tank reared haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) through the use of constant light photoperiods. Aquaculture 270:379–389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Davie A, Porter MJR, Bromage NR, Migaud H (2007b) The role of seasonally altering photoperiod in regulating physiology in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua). Part I. Sexual maturation. Can J Fish Aqua Sci 64:84–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ekstrom P, Meissl H (1997) The pineal organ of teleost fishes. Rev Fish Biol Fisher 7:199–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. El-Sayed AM, Kawanna M (2007) Effects of photoperiod on growth and spawning efficiency of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus L.) broodstock in a recycling system. Aquac Res 38:1242–1247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Endal HP, Taranger GL, Stefansson SO, Hansen T (2000) Effects of continuous additional light on growth and sexual maturity in Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar, reared in sea cages. Aquaculture 191:337–349CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Falcon J, Basseau L, Fazzari D, Attia J, Gaildrat P, Beauchard M, Boeuf G (2003) Melatonin modulates secretion of growth hormone and prolactin by trout pituitary glands and cells in culture. Endocrinology 144:4648–4654PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gern WA, Greenhouse SS (1988) Examination of in vitro melatonin secretion from superfused trout (Salmo gairdneri) pineal organs maintained under diel illumination or continuous darkness. Gen Comp Endocr 71:163–174PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jourdan SP, Fontaine P, Boujard T, Vandeloise E, Gardeur JN, Anthouard M, Kestemont P (2000) Influence of daylength on growth, heterogeneity, gonad development, sexual steroid and thyroid levels, and N and P budgets in Perca fluviatilis. Aquaculture 186:253–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Katersky RS, Carter CG (2007) A preliminary study on growth and protein synthesis of juvenile barramundi, Lates calcarifer at different temperatures. Aquaculture 267:157–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Martinez-Chavez CC, Al-Khamees S, Campos-Mendoza A, Penman DJ, Migaud H (2008) Clock-controlled endogenous melatonin rhythms in Nile tilapia (Oceochromis niloticus niloticus) and African catfish (Clarias gariepinus). Chrono Int 25:31–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Max M, Menaker M (1992) Regulation of melatonin production by light, darkness, and temperature in the trout pineal. J Comp Physiol A Sen Neural Behav Physiol 170:479–489Google Scholar
  20. Moriyama S, Shimmia H, Tagawa M, Kagawa H (1997) Changes in plasma insulin-like growth factor-I levels in precociously maturing amago salmon, Oncorhynchus masou ishikawai. Fish Physiol Biochem 17:253–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Oliveira C, Ortega A, Lopez-Olmeda JF, Vera LM, Sanchez-Vazquez FJ (2007) Influence of constant light and darkness, light intensity, and light spectrum on plasma melatonin rhythms in Senegal sole. Chrono Int 24:615–627CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Porter MJR, Duncan NJ, Mitchell D, Bromage NR (1999) The use of cage lighting to reduce plasma melatonin in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and its effects on the inhibition of grilsing. Aquaculture 176:237–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Porter MJR, Duncan N, Handeland SO, Stefansson SO, Bromage NR (2001) Temperature, light intensity and plasma melatonin levels in juvenile Atlantic salmon. J Fish Biol 58:431–438CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Rad F, Bozaoglu S, Gozukara SE, Karahan A, Kurt G (2006) Effects of different long-day photoperiods on somatic growth and gonadal development in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus L.). Aquaculture 255:292–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Randall CF, Bromage NR, Thrush MA, Davies B, Symes J (1991) Photoperiodism and melatonin rhythms in salmonid fish. In: Scott AP, Sumpter J, Kime D, Roffe M (eds) Reproductive physiology of fish. University of East Anglia Press, Sheffield, pp 136–138Google Scholar
  26. Randall CF, Bromage NR, Thorpe JE, Miles MS, Muir JS (1995) Melatonin rhythms in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) maintained under natural and out-of-phase photoperiods. Gen Comp Endocr 98:73–86PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Reiter RJ (1988) Comparative aspects of pineal melatonin rhythms in mammals. Animal and Plant Science 1:111–116Google Scholar
  28. Saunders RL, Specker JL, Komourdjian MP (1989) Effects of photoperiod on growth and smolting in juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Aquaculture 82:103–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Taylor JF, Migaud H, Porter MJR, Bromage NR (2005) Photoperiod influences growth rate and plasma insulin-like growth factor-I levels in juvenile rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss. Gen Comp Endocr 142:169–185PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Taylor JF, North BP, Porter MJR, Bromage NR, Migaud H (2006) Photoperiod can be used to enhance growth and improve feeding efficiency in farmed rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss. Aquaculture 256:216–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. L. Worrall
    • 1
  • C. G. Carter
    • 1
  • R. J. Wilkinson
    • 1
  • M. J. R. Porter
    • 2
  1. 1.National Centre for Marine Conservation and Resource SustainabilityUniversity of TasmaniaLauncestonAustralia
  2. 2.Ridley Aquafeed Pty LtdNarangba BrisbaneAustralia

Personalised recommendations