Citation Betancor M, Ortega A, de la Gandara F, Tocher DR & Mourente G (2017) Lipid metabolism-related gene expression pattern of Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus L.) larvae fed on live prey. Fish Physiology and Biochemistry, 43 (2), pp. 493-516. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10695-016-0305-4
Abstract The present study is the first to evaluate lipid metabolism in first-feeding Atlantic bluefin tuna (ABT; Thunnus thynnus L.) larvae fed different live prey including enriched rotifers Brachionus plicatilis and Acartia sp. copepod nauplii from 2 days after hatch. Understanding the molecular basis of lipid metabolism and regulation in ABT will provide insights to optimise diet formulations for this high value species new to aquaculture. To this end, we investigated the effect of dietary lipid on whole larvae lipid class and fatty acid compositions and the expression of key genes involved in lipid metabolism in first feeding ABT larvae fed different live prey. Additionally, the expression of lipid metabolism genes in tissues of adult broodstock ABT was evaluated. Growth and survival data indicated that copepods were the best live prey for first feeding ABT, and that differences in growth performance and lipid metabolism observed between larvae from different year classes could be a consequence of broodstock nutrition. In addition, expression patterns of lipid metabolic genes observed in ABT larvae in the trials could reflect differences in lipid class and fatty acid compositions of the live prey. The lipid nutritional requirements, including essential fatty acid requirements of larval ABT during the early feeding stages are unknown and the present study represents a first step in addressing these highly relevant issues. However, further studies are required to determine nutritional requirements and understand lipid metabolism during development of ABT larvae, and to apply the knowledge to the commercial culture of this iconic species.