Effect of carotenoids and background colour on the skin pigmentation of Australian snapper Pagrus auratus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)

Doolan, Ben J., Allan, Geoff L., Booth, Mark A. and Jones, Paul L. 2008, Effect of carotenoids and background colour on the skin pigmentation of Australian snapper Pagrus auratus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801), Aquaculture research, vol. 39, no. 13, pp. 1423-1433.

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Title Effect of carotenoids and background colour on the skin pigmentation of Australian snapper Pagrus auratus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
Formatted title Effect of carotenoids and background colour on the skin pigmentation of Australian snapper Pagrus auratus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
Author(s) Doolan, Ben J.
Allan, Geoff L.
Booth, Mark A.
Jones, Paul L.
Journal name Aquaculture research
Volume number 39
Issue number 13
Start page 1423
End page 1433
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2008-09
ISSN 1355-557X
1365-2109
1475-5920
Keyword(s) astaxanthin
background adaptation
carotenoids
melanophores
snapper
Summary Three 2-factor experiments were conducted to determine the effects of background colour and synthetic carotenoids on the skin colour of Australian snapper Pagrus auratus. Initially, we evaluated the effects on skin colour of supplementing diets for 50 days with 60 mg kg−1 of either astaxanthin (LP; Lucantin®Pink), canthaxanthin (LR; Lucantin® Red), apocarotenoic acid ethyl ester (LY; Lucantin® Yellow), selected combinations of the above or no carotenoids and holding snapper (mean weight=88 g) in either white or black cages. In a second experiment, all snapper (mean weight=142 g) from Experiment 1 were transferred from black to white, or white to white cages to measure the short-term effects of cage colour on skin L*, a* and b* colour values. Skin colour was measured after 7 and 14 days, and total carotenoid concentrations were determined after 14 days.

Cage colour was the dominant factor affecting the skin lightness of snapper with fish from white cages much lighter than fish from black cages. Diets containing astaxanthin conferred greatest skin pigmentation and there were no differences in redness (a*) and yellowness (b*) values between snapper fed 30 or 60 mg astaxanthin kg−1. Snapper fed astaxanthin in white cages displayed greater skin yellowness than those in black cages. Transferring snapper from black to white cages increased skin lightness but was not as effective as growing snapper in white cages for the entire duration. Snapper fed astaxanthin diets and transferred from black to white cages were less yellow than those transferred from white to white cages despite the improvement in skin lightness (L*), and the total carotenoid concentration of the skin of fish fed astaxanthin diets was lower in white cages. Diets containing canthaxanthin led to a low level of deposition in the skin while apocarotenoic acid ethyl ester did not alter total skin carotenoid content or skin colour values in snapper.

In a third experiment, we examined the effects of dietary astaxanthin (diets had 60 mg astaxanthin kg−1 or no added carotenoids) and cage colour (black, white, red or blue) on skin colour of snapper (mean weight=88 g) after 50 days. Snapper fed the astaxanthin diet were more yellow when held in red or white cages compared with fish held in black or blue cages despite similar feed intake and growth. The skin lightness (L* values) was correlated with cage L* values, with the lightest fish obtained from white cages. The results of this study suggest that snapper should be fed 30 mg astaxanthin kg−1 in white cages for 50 days to increase lightness and the red colouration prized in Australian markets.
Notes Published Online: 22 May 2008
Language eng
Field of Research 070401 Aquaculture
Socio Economic Objective 830399 Livestock Raising not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2008, The Authors & Blackwell Publishing Ltd (journal compilation)
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30017880

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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