Digestive system ontogeny and the effects of weaning time on larval survival, growth and pigmentation development of orchid dottyback Pseudochromis fridmani

Chen, Jun Yu, Zeng, Chaoshu, and Cobcroft, Jennifer M. (2022) Digestive system ontogeny and the effects of weaning time on larval survival, growth and pigmentation development of orchid dottyback Pseudochromis fridmani. Aquaculture, 549. 737737.

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Although live prey remain essential for most marine finfish larviculture, the larvae or young juveniles are ultimately weaned onto formulated feeds at foodfish and ornamental fish hatcheries. Understanding the development of larval digestive capabilities is crucial for optimizing weaning success. The present study used the digestive system ontogeny to interpret the effects of different weaning times on larval rearing of orchid dottyback Pseudochromis fridmani, a marine ornamental fish species. The study documented the ontogenetic digestive system development of P. fridmani larvae from hatching to 40 days post-hatching (DPH). The histological analysis showed that as a demersal spawning species, the newly hatched P. fridmani larvae possessed advanced gut development which allowed the onset of exogenous feeding soon after hatching. Most major larval gut morphological changes were completed by 13 DPH; however, the stomach and gastric glands were first observed between 32 and 36 DPH. At this stage, P. fridmani larvae were expected to acquire substantially improved digestive capabilities, and were likely capable of digesting formulated feed. In the subsequent experiment, P. fridmani larvae were weaned onto formulated feed from 20, 23, 26, 29, or 32 DPH over a three-day period of co-feeding with enriched Artemia; the control group were exclusively fed enriched Artemia until the end of experiment. The timing of weaning significantly affected the larval growth and pigmentation development rather than survival (mean: 44-64%). P. fridmani larvae weaned later tended to grow larger, and the control group grew significantly larger in length than all weaning treatments (p < 0.05). Interestingly, at the end of the experiment (40 DPH), none of larvae from the control obtained adult-type pigmentation despite their larger size. In contrast, the introduction of formulated feed appeared to stimulate pigmentation development in P. fridmani individuals with a clear trend of higher pigmentation completion by 40 DPH (mean: 62-97%) with earlier weaning. Overall, this study demonstrated that P. fridmani larvae could be weaned onto formulated feed from as early as 20 DPH, before the stomach and gastric glands were fully developed; indeed, the timing of adult-type pigmentation change in P. fridmani was also advanced by the introduction of the weaning diet.

Item ID: 72083
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-5622
Keywords: captive breeding, formulated feed, juvenile production, marine ornamental fish, larval gut development
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Copyright Information: © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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Supplementary data to this article can be found online at: https://doi. org/10.1016/j.aquaculture.2021.737737

Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2022 07:59
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3005 Fisheries sciences > 300501 Aquaculture @ 100%
SEO Codes: 10 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 1002 Fisheries - aquaculture > 100202 Aquaculture fin fish (excl. tuna) @ 100%
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