Physiological improvement in the copepod Eurytemora affinis through thermal and multi-generational selection

Anissa Souissi, Sami Souissi, Benni Winding Hansen

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As a major part of fish larval diet in nature, copepods constitute an appropriate live prey for aquaculture purposes. Considering the difficulty of mastering copepod mass production, studies on their growth performance at different environmental conditions are needed to improve their productivity. In this study a new selective approach based on temperature control is proposed to improve the physiological (body size, fecundity and lipid storage) performance of copepods. The estuarine copepod Eurytemora affinis known to have a high genetic variance in temperature tolerance was used as a biological model. First two different copepod lines were obtained after long-term culture at constant cold (7°C) and warm (20°C) temperatures. Then both populations were transferred to a higher temperature of 24°C appropriate for aquaculture use and followed during five generations. During the first two generations (F1–F2) of a cold-acclimated population, female body size and fecundity decreased significantly whereas the survival rate remained high. The high lipid content of this population was used by females to compensate the heat shock of more than 10°C. However, the survival rate decreased dramatically in F3 but allowed the selection of robust individuals which progressively improved their fitness during the following generations. So, compared to the warm acclimated population, the cold acclimated one showed larger body size, higher fecundity and better lipid storage. After only five generations at 24°C the cold-acclimated population showed a significant genetic gain in prosome length compared to the warm acclimated one
TidsskriftAquaculture Research
Udgave nummer7
Sider (fra-til)2227-2242
Antal sider16
StatusUdgivet - 2016

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