Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 1–16 | Cite as

Novel methodologies in marine fish larval nutrition

  • Luis E. C. Conceição
  • Cláudia Aragão
  • Nadège Richard
  • Sofia Engrola
  • Paulo Gavaia
  • Sara Mira
  • Jorge Dias
Article

Abstract

Major gaps in knowledge on fish larval nutritional requirements still remain. Small larval size, and difficulties in acceptance of inert microdiets, makes progress slow and cumbersome. This lack of knowledge in fish larval nutritional requirements is one of the causes of high mortalities and quality problems commonly observed in marine larviculture. In recent years, several novel methodologies have contributed to significant progress in fish larval nutrition. Others are emerging and are likely to bring further insight into larval nutritional physiology and requirements. This paper reviews a range of new tools and some examples of their present use, as well as potential future applications in the study of fish larvae nutrition. Tube-feeding and incorporation into Artemia of 14C-amino acids and lipids allowed studying Artemia intake, digestion and absorption and utilisation of these nutrients. Diet selection by fish larvae has been studied with diets containing different natural stable isotope signatures or diets where different rare metal oxides were added. Mechanistic modelling has been used as a tool to integrate existing knowledge and reveal gaps, and also to better understand results obtained in tracer studies. Population genomics may assist in assessing genotype effects on nutritional requirements, by using progeny testing in fish reared in the same tanks, and also in identifying QTLs for larval stages. Functional genomics and proteomics enable the study of gene and protein expression under various dietary conditions, and thereby identify the metabolic pathways which are affected by a given nutrient. Promising results were obtained using the metabolic programming concept in early life to facilitate utilisation of certain nutrients at later stages. All together, these methodologies have made decisive contributions, and are expected to do even more in the near future, to build a knowledge basis for development of optimised diets and feeding regimes for different species of larval fish.

Keywords

Fish larvae nutrition Genomics Proteomics Tracer studies Modelling Metabolic programming 

Abbreviations

AA

Amino acid(s)

DAH

Days after hatching

DIGE

Differential in-gel electrophoresis

FA

Fatty acid(s)

GC

Gas chromatography

HPLC

High-performance liquid chromatography

HUFA

Highly unsaturated fatty acids

IRMS

Isotope-ratio mass spectrometry

MAS

Marker-assisted selection

NMR

Nuclear magnetic resonance

PAGE

Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis

PCR

Polymerase chain reaction

QTL(s)

Quantitative trait loci

SDS

Sodium dodecyl sulphate

SNP

Single nucleotide polymorphism

SSH

Suppression subtractive hybridisation

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luis E. C. Conceição
    • 1
  • Cláudia Aragão
    • 1
  • Nadège Richard
    • 1
  • Sofia Engrola
    • 1
  • Paulo Gavaia
    • 1
  • Sara Mira
    • 1
  • Jorge Dias
    • 1
  1. 1.CCMAR—Centro de Ciências do MarUniversidade do AlgarveFaroPortugal

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