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β-Carotene-enriched Artemia as a natural carotenoid improved skin pigmentation and enhanced the mucus immune responses of platyfish Xiphophorus maculatus

Abstract

The present study investigated the effects of enriched Artemia franciscana with β-carotene of Dunaliella salina on color, skin carotenoid, and mucosal immune responses of platyfish, Xiphophorus maculatus. To this end, one hundred and eighty platyfish with an initial weight of 0.9 ± 0.03 g were randomly assigned into four groups in triple and were daily fed on three times. The first and second groups were fed with commercial food (control) and unenriched A. franciscana (Un-EA), respectively. In addition, the third and fourth groups were fed with enriched A. franciscana with castor oil (oil-EA) and enriched A. franciscana with β-carotene (β-carotene EA) for 8 weeks, respectively. Based on results, the highest amount of carotenoids (112.4 ± 22.79 μg g−1) was significantly observed in the group fed with β-carotene EA while the lowest amount (24.31 ± 2.36 μg g−1) was found in the group fed Un-EA. As regards lysozyme, total immunoglobulin, and alkaline phosphatase activity of the mucus, the highest amounts were detected in fish with β-carotene EA as 84.5 ± 19.09 mg dL−1, 6.4 ± 0.41 mg dL−1, and 477 ± 39.59 U L−1, respectively. Based on skin colorization results, the group fed with β-carotene EA had no significant difference regarding the transparency, yellow color, and opacity, while a* index significantly increased in this group in comparison with the control group. However, the Hue index significantly decreased in the β-carotene EA group compared with the control group. In conclusion, A. franciscana enriched with β-carotene of D. salina enhanced the mucosal immune responses and improved the skin carotenoids as well as a* index in platyfish X. maculatus.

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Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank all of the people who helped with the research in Artemia and Aquaculture Research Institute and Faculty of Natural Resources, Urmia University (Urmia-Iran).

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Correspondence to Nasrollah Ahmadifard.

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Abdollahi, Y., Ahmadifard, N., Agh, N. et al. β-Carotene-enriched Artemia as a natural carotenoid improved skin pigmentation and enhanced the mucus immune responses of platyfish Xiphophorus maculatus. Aquacult Int 27, 1847–1858 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10499-019-00437-8

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Keywords

  • β-Carotene
  • Color
  • Immune responses
  • Platyfish
  • Dunaliella salina
  • Skin carotenoid
  • Xiphophorus maculatus