Marine Biology

, Volume 153, Issue 6, pp 1245–1256 | Cite as

Comparative biochemical composition of ploidy groups of the lion-paw scallop (Nodipecten subnodosus Sowerby) supports the physiological hypothesis for the lack of advantage in triploid mollusc’s growth in food-rich environments

  • Ilie S. RacottaEmail author
  • Elena Palacios
  • Ana M. Ibarra
  • José Luis Ramírez
  • Fabiola Arcos
  • Olivia Arjona
Research Article


Induction of triploidy in aquatic organisms has increased worldwide in the last two decades, mostly because triploids have better growth than diploids. According to a physiological hypothesis, partial or total sterility of triploids allows the accumulation of reserves in muscle and other tissues instead of being transferred to the gonad. The present study analyzes lipid, protein, carbohydrate, and fatty acid levels in muscle and gonads of Nodipecten subnodosus triploids and diploids over 18 months from June 2001 to December 2002. An important increase in gonadosomatic index of diploids scallops was observed from May to June 2002 reaching the highest values in August. Such increase was not observed in triploid scallops. Changes in biochemical composition in female gonad were in general related to the accumulation of reserves during gonad development of diploid scallops. This accumulation was lower for triploid scallops, in accordance to their sterility, especially for carbohydrates and acylglycerides. Adductor muscle index as well as protein and carbohydrate levels in muscle increased in both ploidy groups during the reproductive period indicating no mobilization of reserves to sustain gonad development in both ploidy groups. These results partially support the physiological hypothesis on the advantage of triploids: in a rich food locality no mobilization of reserves is needed to sustain gametogenesis. This, together with a possible lower efficiency of energy assimilation at high food concentration for triploids, may be the reason for an apparent lack of superiority of N. subnodosus triploids in terms of adductor muscle growth. Only the levels of particular highly unsaturated fatty acids levels (namely 20:4n-6 and 20:5n-3) in muscle of diploid and triploid decreased during the reproductive period, indicating a possible transfer of selected fatty acids to gonads, even in triploids. The muscle of triploids has a slightly but significantly higher proportion of 22:6n-3 compared to diploids, which can have implications for the nutritional and commercial value of triploid adductor muscle.


Adductor Muscle Lipid Fraction Polar Fraction Highly Unsaturated Fatty Acid Gonadosomatic Index 
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.



The authors gratefully acknowledge sampling support of Rosalío Maldonado-Amparo, and technical support of Roberto Hernández, Susana Avila, and Dulce Luna. This project received support from grants CONACYT-28256-B to A.M. Ibarra and SIMAC-BCS7001 to E. Palacios.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ilie S. Racotta
    • 1
    Email author
  • Elena Palacios
    • 1
  • Ana M. Ibarra
    • 1
  • José Luis Ramírez
    • 1
  • Fabiola Arcos
    • 1
  • Olivia Arjona
    • 1
  1. 1.Programa de AcuaculturaCentro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste La PazMexico

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