, Volume 31, Issue 5, pp 513–519 | Cite as

Changes in lipid composition during metamorphosis of bonefish (Albula sp.) leptocephali

  • David Padrón
  • Virginia A. Lindley
  • Edward Pfeiler


During metamorphosis of bonefish (Albula sp.) larvae (leptocephali) all energy requirements are provided by breakdown of endogenous compounds, with lipid catabolism accounting for about 80% of total energy production. The principal objective of the present study was to characterize the lipid classes and fatty acids utilized. Analysis of whole-body lipid content indicated that larvae lost about half (3.6 mg) of their total lipid during the 10-d period. Percentages of neutral and polar lipid in early metamorphosing larvae were 64.2 and 35.8%, respectively; these values showed little change during metamorphosis, indicating that both lipid classes were catabolized. Triacylglycerols, the principal neutral lipid of all metamorphic stages, decreased by 1.8 mg. accounting for half of the decrease in total lipid. Levels of phosphatidylethanolamine, the principal polar lipid in early larvae, decreased by more than 50% during metamorphosis; levels of phosphatidylcholine, which was not detected in early larvae, increased. Fatty acids showing the largest net decreases, presumedly used as energy sources, were 16∶0 (30.4%), 14∶0 (13.8%), 16∶1n-7 (12.2%), 20∶5n-3 (7.7%), 18∶1n-9 (7.4%), and 18∶4n-3 (6.9%). Most of 22∶6n-3, the second most abundant fatty acid of early larvae, was conserved.


Standard Length Polar Lipid Neutral Lipid Lipid Class Polar Fraction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



fatty acid methyl ester


high-performance thin-layer chromatography






polyunsaturated fatty acids


standard length




transmission electron microscopy


thin-layer chromatography


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Copyright information

© AOCS Press 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Padrón
    • 1
  • Virginia A. Lindley
    • 2
  • Edward Pfeiler
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Departamento de Ciencias MarinasInstituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM)SonoraMexico
  2. 2.Electron Microscopy ConsultantsTucson
  3. 3.Department of ZoologyArizona State UniversityTempe

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