Effects of Parental Diet on Nutritional Composition of Yolk and Metabolic Programming in Southern Flounder




Li, Yu Ting

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Fatty acids play a critical role in cellular functions and are vital to the growth and development of fish during early stages of life. The nutrients available to fish embryos and early larvae are dependent on recent maternal diet in certain fish species, including Southern Flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma). Variations in maternal diet can result in subsequent changes to metabolic functioning of offspring, such as capacity for nutrient absorption, which is indicative of metabolic programming. The aim of this study was to (1) investigate the effects of the maternal diet on the fatty acid profiles of eggs, and (2) determine whether Southern Flounder exhibit metabolic programming in the form of measured differences in larval fatty acid composition between spawns from two maternal diet treatment groups (shrimp or sardine). Results demonstrated direct diet-egg relationships for 11 fatty acids, with the majority of these fatty acids being higher in the shrimp diet and corresponding eggs. Analyses of larval fatty acid composition, however, did not reveal significant differences in any of the 27 fatty acids measured for any of the three larval stages sampled. Therefore, there was no evidence of metabolic programming in Southern Flounder based on comparisons of larval fatty acid composition among parental diet treatments. This contrasts with prior studies that provided evidence for metabolic programming in marine teleosts.



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