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Effects of PUFA-enriched Artemia on the early growth and fatty acid composition of Murray cod larvae

journal contribution
posted on 2019-11-15, 00:00 authored by David FrancisDavid Francis, B J Cleveland, Paul Jones, Giovanni Turchini, Jessica Conlan
The Murray cod (Maccullochella peelii peelii), an iconic Australian freshwater fish, is subject to a small but growing aquaculture sector in Australia. Optimal larviculture techniques for this species have yet to be established, particularly with regard to the nutritional quality of starter diets. As such, optimisation of current Murray cod hatchery practices and feeding regimes is essential to maximize the production of high quality larvae and expand commercial aquaculture prospects. The aim of this investigation was to assess the effects of Artemia nauplii enriched with high levels of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA; ENR treatment), on the growth and fatty acid composition of larval Murray cod. Using untreated Artemia nauplii as a control treatment (CTL), larvae were fed either treatment to apparent satiation twice daily in triplicate groups of 700 fish with initial mean weights of 0.012 ± 0.06 g for 21 days at 19.85 °C. Survival was not significantly different between treatments (P > .05). Final mean weight and length, as well as specific growth rate, were significantly higher for ENR compared to CTL. Enriched larvae also contained significantly higher total lipid contents and across all three of the major fatty acid groups. Of the individual fatty acids, increases in ARA (20:4n-6) and DHA (22:6n-3) were recorded in the ENR fish, while CTL fish contained high concentrations of 18:4n-3, 20:4n-3 and 22:5n-3, which are intermediate fatty acids along the n-3 conversion pathway, suggesting desaturation and elongation toward EPA (20:5n-3) and DHA. Results demonstrate that enriched Artemia nauplii are vastly superior to untreated Artemia as a starter diet for optimal growth and fatty acid composition of Murray cod larvae. Thus, despite the clear ability of Murray cod larvae to undergo elongation and desaturation of ALA (18:3n-3), the present study demonstrates that this is not sufficient to sustain growth or LC-PUFA tissue levels akin to those possible through high dietary LC-PUFA intake.






Article number



1 - 9




Amsterdam, The Netherlands





Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2019, Elsevier B.V.