Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 761–770 | Cite as

Effects of dietary supplementation of Gracilaria sp. extracts on fillet quality, oxidative stress, and immune responses in European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax)

  • Maria J. Peixoto
  • Leonardo Magnoni
  • José F. M. Gonçalves
  • Robert H. Twijnstra
  • Anake Kijjoa
  • Rui Pereira
  • Arjan P. Palstra
  • Rodrigo O. A. OzórioEmail author


The current study evaluated the effects of two different fractions derived from the methanolic extraction of the red seaweed Gracilaria sp. supplemented in European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax) diets. With that purpose, three experimental diets were prepared: a basal diet (control), a control supplemented with the methanolic extract (GE, 0.5% diet) and a control supplemented with the insoluble residue of the GE extraction (GR, 4.5%). Seabass with an average initial weight of 16.5 ± 0.6 g were fed the experimental diets for 42 days, and the following parameters were evaluated: growth indicators, digestive enzyme activities, immune and oxidative stress responses, fillet pH and color (L*, a*, and b* values), and skin color. The dietary supplementation of GE or GR had no effect on growth performance, digestive enzyme activities, fillet pH, and color. Skin color was significantly lighter (L*) in fish-fed GE (83.9 ± 1.9) and GR (84.3 ± 2.3) diets when compared with the control group (81.9 ± 3.8). The dietary treatments did not affect the oxidative stress biomarkers. Alternative complement pathway (ACH50) was significantly higher in fish-fed GE diet (168.2 ± 13.4 EU mL−1) than in the control diet (113.1 ± 31.4 EU mL−1). No dietary effect was observed on peroxidase and lysozyme activities. The current study indicates that dietary supplementation of Gracilaria sp. methanolic extracts may have little influence on the innate immune system and skin color in seabass.


Dicentrarchus labrax Gracilaria sp. extract Rhodophyta Fillet quality Dietary seaweed supplementation Fish welfare 



The authors thank E. Blom for assistance with purchase of the fish, A. Hofman and Y. van Es for assistance with animal care, J. Kals and W. Abbink for scientific support, and H. van de Vis for instructions on measuring fillet pH and color and interpretation of the results.

Funding information

This study has been part of an AQUAEXCEL application for DLO-IMARES research infrastructure with reference code 0094/07/15/32/B and the project INNOVMAR-Innovation and Sustainability in the Management and Exploitation of Marine Resources (reference NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000035), within the Research Line INSEAFOOD, funded by the Northern Regional Operational Programme (NORTE 2020) through the European Regional Development fund (ERDF).

Compliance with ethical standards

All procedures were conducted under the supervision of an accredited expert in laboratory animal science by the Portuguese Veterinary Authority (1005/92, DGV-Portugal, following FELASA category C recommendations) according to the guidelines on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes from the European directive 2010/63/UE. The experiment took place at the aquaculture facilities of the Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies (IMARES; now Wageningen Marine Research—WMR, Yerseke, The Netherlands) that complied with the current laws of the Netherlands and were approved by the animal experimental committee (DEC no. 2014085).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria J. Peixoto
    • 1
    • 2
  • Leonardo Magnoni
    • 1
    • 3
  • José F. M. Gonçalves
    • 1
    • 2
  • Robert H. Twijnstra
    • 4
  • Anake Kijjoa
    • 2
  • Rui Pereira
    • 5
  • Arjan P. Palstra
    • 6
  • Rodrigo O. A. Ozório
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.CIIMAR – Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e AmbientalUniversidade do PortoMatosinhosPortugal
  2. 2.ICBAS – Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas de Abel SalazarUniversidade do PortoPortoPortugal
  3. 3.IIB-INTECHChascomusArgentina
  4. 4.Wageningen Marine Research (WMR)Wageningen University and ResearchYersekeThe Netherlands
  5. 5.ALGAPLUSIlhavoPortugal
  6. 6.Animal Breeding and Genomics Centre, Wageningen Livestock Research (WLR)Wageningen University and ResearchWageningenThe Netherlands

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