Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 1–11 | Cite as

Biochemical composition of three algal species proposed as food for captive freshwater mussels

  • Catherine M. Gatenby
  • David M. Orcutt
  • Daniel A. Kreeger
  • Bruce C. Parker
  • Vannessa A. Jones
  • Richard J. Neves


To identify potential diets for rearing captive freshwater mussels, the protein, carbohydrate (CHO), and lipid contents of two green algae, Neochloris oleoabundans, Bracteacoccus grandis, and one diatom, Phaeodactylum tricornutum, were compared at different growth stages. The fatty acid and sterol composition were also identified. Protein was greatest (55–70%) for all species at late log growth stage (LL), and declined in late stationary (LS) growth. CHO was greatest at LS stage for all species (33.9–56.4% dry wt). No significant change in lipid levels occurred with growth stage, but tended to increase in N. oleoabundans. Mean lipid content differed significantly in the order: N. oleoabundans > P. tricornutum > B. grandis. Total fatty acids (TFA) were higher at LS stage compared to other stages in the two green algae, and stationary stage in the diatom. Mean unsaturated fatty acids (UFA) as %TFA was significantly higher in N. oleoabundans than the other species. The green algae contained high percentages of C-18 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), while the diatom was abundant in C-16 saturated and mono-unsaturated fatty acids and C-20 PUFA fatty acids. Growth stage had no effect on sterol concentration of any species. B. grandis showed significantly higher sterol levels than the other species except P. tricornutum at S stage. B. grandis was characterized by predominantly Δ5, C-29 sterols, while N. oleoabundans synthesized Δ5,7, Δ5,7,22 , and Δ7, C-28 sterols. P. tricornutum produced primarily a Δ5,22, C-28 sterol, and a small amount of a Δ7,22, C-28 sterol.

Bracteacoccus grandis Carbohydrate Fatty acids Freshwater mussels Lipids Neochloris oleoabundans Phaeodactylum tricornutum Protein Sterols 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine M. Gatenby
    • 1
  • David M. Orcutt
    • 2
  • Daniel A. Kreeger
    • 1
  • Bruce C. Parker
    • 3
  • Vannessa A. Jones
    • 2
  • Richard J. Neves
    • 4
  1. 1.Patrick Center for Environmental ResearchAcademy of Natural SciencesPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology and Weed ScienceVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiologyVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA
  4. 4.Virginia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, U. S. Geological Survey, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife SciencesVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA

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