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Growth Rate of the Microalga Tetraselmis suecica Changes the Biochemical Composition of Artemia Species

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The impact of different microalgal semicontinuous cultures on growth and biochemical composition in the next link of the food chain was tested using the filter feeder Artemia species as a model. The marine microalga Tetraselmis suecica was cultured semicontinuously with renewal rates between 10% and 50% and used to feed Artemia. Microalgal cultures maintained with a low renewal rate that had biochemical composition similar to that of the stationary-phase cultures commonly used in aquaculture produced poor growth and survival and low food-conversion efficiency compared to cultures maintained with a high renewal rate. Changes in the renewal rate in microalgal cultures also resulted in important changes in the gross biochemical composition of the filter feeder. The gross biochemical composition of the Artemia resembled that of the microalgae used as food except for total lipid content. The percentage of protein in the organic fraction of Artemia increased from 45% to 65% of the organic weight with increasing renewal rates in the microalgal cultures, while the carbohydrate percentage decreased under the same conditions. Higher renewal rates resulted in higher lipid percentages in the microalga, but in Artemia the percentage of lipids decreased from 19% of the organic weight with a renewal rate of 10%, to 13% with a renewal rate of 50%. The percentage of all polyunsaturated fatty acids in Artemia, including 20:5n-3, increased slightly with increasing renewal rates in the microalgal cultures. Results emphasize the importance of controlling microalgal nutritional value for the success of aquaculture food chains in which filter feeders are involved.

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Received October 15, 2000; accepted December 29, 2000.

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Fábregas, J., Otero, A., Domínguez, A. et al. Growth Rate of the Microalga Tetraselmis suecica Changes the Biochemical Composition of Artemia Species. Mar. Biotechnol. 3, 256–263 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1007/s101260000074

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s101260000074

  • Key words:Artemia, Tetraselmis suecica, nutritional value, renewal rate, growth, survival, biochemical composition.