Taurine metabolism and effects of inclusion levels in rotifer (Brachionus rotundiformis, Tschugunoff, 1921) on Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus, L.) larvae



Betancor M, Laurent G, Ortega A, de la Gándara F, Tocher D & Mourente G (2019) Taurine metabolism and effects of inclusion levels in rotifer (Brachionus rotundiformis, Tschugunoff, 1921) on Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus, L.) larvae. Aquaculture, 510, pp. 353-363.

Taurine appears to be a crucial nutrient for teleosts, especially top predator species such as Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus, L.; ABT). While dietary taurine supplementation has been highly recommended, there is a lack of studies on taurine assimilation and biosynthesis for this iconic species. The present study aims to provide insight into the molecular mechanisms involved in taurine biosynthesis and transport in ABT by studying tissue distribution and ontogenetic development of expression of cysteine dioxygenase (cdo), cysteine sulfinic acid decarboxylase (csad), 2-aminoethanethiol dioxygenase (ado) and taurine transporter (tauT) in response to graded levels of dietary taurine supplementation. The full open reading frame (ORF) for cdo and partial sequences for csad, ado and tauT were obtained, with the translated polypeptides being 202, 176, 166 and 324 amino acids, respectively. All three showed characteristics such as cupin motifs in Cdo and predicted N-glycosylation sites in Taut that are common to these genes in other species. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the ABT sequences clustered with sequences of other teleosts, and separately from mammals and molluscs. Tissue distribution varied, with adipose tissue, kidney, white muscle and testis/brain showing highest expression of cdo, csad, ado and tauT, respectively. Whole larvae expression of csad peaked at 15 dah, whereas the other genes generally increased throughout development to show highest expression at 25 dah. The nutritional trial was carried out by feeding ABT larvae from mouth opening to 14 days after hatching (dah) with rotifers (Brachionus rotundiformis) enriched with 4 different levels of taurine: 0.0 (tau0), 0.5 (tau0.5), 1.0 (tau1), and 2.0 g taurine per 106 rotifers (tau2). Rotifers effectively accumulated taurine with ABT larvae fed on treatment tau2 attaining the highest concentration of taurine. However, ABT larvae fed tau1 displayed higher growth and survival, and flexion index at 14 dah, than larvae fed the other taurine levels. Larvae fed tau1 also showed generally higher expression of tauT and cdo and digestive and antioxidant enzyme genes. While this study showed that larval ABT express taurine metabolism genes, suggesting possible synthesis that could contribute to the taurine pool in the fish, larval performance was enhanced by a level of dietary taurine (3.7 mg taurine g-1 rotifer) supplied by enrichment of rotifers at 1 g taurine per 106 rotifers.

bluefin tuna; larvae; taurine; gene expression; rotifer enrichment; cDNA

Aquaculture: Volume 510

FundersMinistry of Economy and Competitiveness (Spain)
Publication date15/08/2019
Publication date online25/05/2019
Date accepted by journal18/05/2019

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Dr Monica Betancor

Dr Monica Betancor

Associate Professor, Institute of Aquaculture