Success Factors for Fish Larval Production
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More About This Title Success Factors for Fish Larval Production


A comprehensive and authoritative synthesis on the successful production of fish larvae 

Success Factors for Fish Larval Production is a vital resource that includes the most current understanding of larval biology, in the context of larval production. The text covers topics such as how external (environmental and nutritional) and internal (molecular/ developmental/ physiological/ behavioral/ genetic) factors interact in defining the phenotype and quality of fish larvae and juveniles. The expert contributors review broodstock genetics and husbandry, water quality, larval nutrition and feeding, growth physiology, health, metamorphosis, underlying molecular mechanisms, including epigenetics, for development, larval behavior and environmental conditions. Compiled by members of a European Union-funded consortium of top researchers, Success Factors for Fish Larval Production provides a wide-range of authoritative information for the aquaculture industry and academia.

In addition to a wealth of information, the authors review research and commercially applicable larval quality indicators and predictors. The successful production of good-quality fish larvae is of vital importance for fish farming and stock enhancement of wild fisheries: 

  • Includes contributions from a consortium of noted researchers and experts in the field
  • Deals with on how to improve egg quality and larval production via broodstock management and nutrition
  • Suggests ways to control the phenotype of juveniles and table-size fish via manipulations of the conditions of larval rearing (e.g., epigenetics)
  • Includes ideas for optimizing diet composition, formulation, and technology
  • Integrates knowledge and practical experience in order to help advancing excellence in aquaculture 

Success Factors for Fish Larval Production offers fish biologists, developmental biologists, physiologists and zoologists the most current and reliable information on the topic. All those working in fish aquaculture facilities and hatcheries in particular will find great interest to their commercial operations within this book. 


About the Editors
is a founder of SPAROS, a start-up company that arose from the Centre of Marine Sciences of the University of the Algarve, Portugal. SPAROS is devoted to innovation in fish feeding and nutrition. Luis was Vice-Chair of LARVANET.

AMOS TANDLER is based at the National Center for Mariculture in Eilat, Israel, which he directed and which is part of Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research. He was Chair of LARVANET. He and his students pioneered the science behind marine fish larval research, being the foundation for innovations and the development of the sprouting Israeli Mariculture industry.


Acknowledgements xvii

1 Introduction 1

Reference 2

2 Gamete Quality and BroodstockManagement in Temperate Fish 3
HerveMigaud, Gordon Bell, Elsa Cabrita, Brendan McAndrew, Andrew Davie, Julien Bobe, Maria Paz Herráez and Manuel Carrillo

Introduction 3

Egg and Sperm Quality and Assessment 4

Egg Quality 4

Sperm Quality 6

Germ Cell Preservation 8

Eggs 8

Sperm Storage and Management 8

Other Sources of Germplasm: Undifferentiated Germ Cells and Surrogate

Production 9

Knowledge Gaps and Research Needs 10

Broodstock Nutrition 11

Background 11

Salmonids 11

Bass, Bream and Related Sparids 13

Atlantic Cod 15

Flatfish 15

Carp 17

Knowledge Gaps and Research Needs 17

Applications of Genetics and Genomics to Broodstock Management 17

General Considerations and New Advances 17

Selective Breeding Programmes 18

Genetic Markers 22

Functional Genomics 23

Chromosome Set Manipulation 24

Gene Transfer Technologies 26

Knowledge Gaps and Research Needs 27

Broodstock Environmental and Hormonal Manipulations 27

General Concepts 27

Entrainment of Reproduction: Proximate Factors 28

Photoperiod Regimes Used in Aquaculture 30

Temperature as an Ultimate Factor 31

Spawning Induction Techniques 32

Knowledge Gaps and Research Needs 35

Overall Conclusions 35

Acknowledgements 38

References 38

3 Feeding Behaviour and Digestive Physiology in Larval Fish: Current Knowledge, and Gaps and Bottlenecks in Research 55
Ivar Rønnestad, Manuel Yúfera, Bernd Ueberschär, Laura Ribeiro, Øystein Sæle and Clara Boglione

Introduction 55

Feeding Behaviour and Appetite 56

Detection 56

Capture and Ingestion 59

Feeding Rhythms 61

Neuroendocrine Control of Appetite and Ingestion 61

Adaptation of Feeding Protocols to the Feeding Behaviour 63

Digestive Physiology 63

Ontogeny and Plasticity of the Digestive System 63

Accessory Digestive Organs 66

IntestinalModelling and Remodelling 67

Digestion: An Overview 69

Digestion of Proteins and Peptides 70

Pancreatic Enzymes 70

Enzymes in the Mucosal Layer 75

Exogenous Enzymes 75

Absorption 76

Free Amino Acids 76

Peptides 77

Whole Proteins 78

General Protein-Processing Capacity 79

Gut Transit Rate Versus Dietary Protein Utilization 80

Lipids 82

Preintestinal Digestion of Lipids 82

Intestinal Lipid Digestion 83

Overall Processing Capacity for Lipids 85

Digestion of Carbohydrates 86

Regulatory Systems of Digestion 87

Gastrointestinal Tract Hormones 89

Other Gastrointestinal Tract Hormones 92

Enteric Nervous Systems 92

Future Research Strategies for Studies in Feeding Behaviour and Digestive

Physiology to Advance Larval Rearing of Marine Fish 93

Acknowledgements 96

References 96

4 Fish Larval Nutrition and Feed Formulation: Knowledge Gaps and Bottlenecks for Advances in Larval Rearing 123
Kristin Hamre, Manuel Yúfera, Ivar Rønnestad, Clara Boglione, Luis E. C. Conceição and Marisol Izquierdo

Introduction 123

Larval Nutrition 124

What are the Larval Nutrient Requirements? 124

Direct Measurements of Larval Requirements, for Example

Dose–Response 125

Macronutrients 125

Protein and Amino Acids 126

Lipid Class Composition 127

Essential Fatty Acids 129

Vitamins 132

Minerals 133

Indirect Measurements 134

Nutrient Utilization during the Yolk Sac Period 134

Amino Acids 135

Lipids 136

Vitamins 137

Nutrient Composition of Copepods 138

Larval Body Composition 142

Tracer Studies 143

Extrapolation from Juveniles 145

Feed Formulation 147

Live Feed Enrichment 147

Basic Levels of Nutrients in Rotifers and Artemia 147

Opportunities and Limitations in Enrichment of Live Feed 150

Formulated Diets 153

General Characteristics of Formulated Larval Diets 153

Types of Formulated Microdiets 154

Technical Limitations 155

Microdiet Formulation and Nutrition Experiments 156

Gaps and Bottlenecks in Obtaining Knowledge on Nutritional Requirements of Marine Fish Larvae 157

Acknowledgements 158

References 158

5 What Determines Growth Potential and Juvenile Quality of Farmed Fish Species? 177
Luísa M.P. Valente, Katerina A. Moutou, Luis E.C. Conceição, Sofia Engrola, Jorge M.O. Fernandes and Ian A. Johnston

Introduction 177

Development of SkeletalMuscle 178

Embryonic, Larval and JuvenileMuscle Growth:The Origin and

Regulation of Myogenic Progenitor Cell Activity 178

Control of Muscle Mass 185

Protein Synthesis 185

Protein Degradation 186

Genetics of Muscle Growth 187

Environmental Factors and Growth 193

Seawater Temperature 193

Nutrition 194

Available Methodology to Assess Growth and Quality 195

Histology, Histochemistry and Immunohistochemistry 196

In situ Hybridization 196

Real-time PCR 197

Microarrays 197

Transcriptome Analysis and Genome Editing 198

Proteomics 200

Cell Culture 200

Tracer Studies 201

Concluding Remarks 201

Acknowledgements 202

References 202

6 Skeletal Anomalies in Reared European Fish Larvae and Juveniles. Part 1: Normal and Anomalous Skeletogenic Processes 219
Clara Boglione, Paulo Gavaia, Giorgos Koumoundouros, Enric Gisbert, Mari Moren, Stéphanie Fontagné and Paul EckhardWitten

Introduction 219

Plasticity, Ontogenesis, Remodelling and Resorption of Skeletal Elements in Teleost Fish 225

Teleost Skeletal Tissues 225

The Notochord 227

Regulatory Mechanisms of Skeletal Tissues in Fish 228

Bone Formation and the Replacement of the Cartilaginous Anlage 228

Endochondral Ossification 229

Perichondral Ossification 230

Parachondral Ossification 231

Intramembranous Ossification 231

Modulation and Transformation 233

Dedifferentiation, Transdifferentiation and Metaplasia 233

Late Events in Teleost Skeletal Tissue Modelling and Remodelling 235

Bone Resorption and Remodelling 236

Osteocytic Osteolysis 237

Main Gaps in Scientific Knowledge and Further Research Needs 237

Acknowledgements 238

References 239

7 Skeletal Anomalies in Reared European Fish Larvae and Juveniles. Part 2:Main Typologies, Occurrences and Causative Factors 255
Clara Boglione, Enric Gisbert, Paulo Gavaia, Paul E.Witten, Mori Moren, Stéphanie Fontagné and Giorgos Koumoundouros

Introduction 255

Early Developmental Anomalies 257

Vertebral Column Anomalies 261

Non-salmonid Group 262

Salmonid Group 265

Vertebrae Anomalies 266

Non-salmonid Group 267

Salmonid Group 268

Anomalies of the Fins 269

Skull Anomalies 271

Effects of Skeletal Anomalies on Fish Biological Performance 273

Causative Factors of Skeletal Anomalies in Reared Fish 274

Genetic Factors 274

Non-genetic Factors: Nutrition 277

Proteins and Amino Acids 278

Lipids and Fatty Acids 279

Vitamins 283

Minerals 294

Non-genetic Factors: Miscellaneous 297

SortingMethods 301

Elements of Solutions 301

Main Gaps in Scientific Knowledge and Further Research Needs 304

Acknowledgements 306

References 306

8 Microbiology and Immunology of Fish Larvae 331
Olav Vadstein, Øivind Bergh, François-Joel Gatesoupe, Jorge Galindo-Villegas, Victoriano Mulero, Simona Picchietti, Giuseppe Scapigliati, Pavlos Makridis, Yngvar Olsen, Kristof Dierckens, Tom Defoirdt, Nico Boon, Peter de Schryver and Peter Bossier

Introduction 331

The Microbial Environment of Fish Larvae 332

Methodological Aspects of Microbial Community Characterization 334

Pathogens and Challenge Models 338

Immunology of Fish Larvae 339

Evolutionary Aspects of Innate Immunity in Fish 339

Physical Barriers, the First Line of Defence 340

Professional Phagocytes and other Myeloid Cells 340

Signalling in Pattern Recognition 341

PRRs Specificity in Fish 342

Toll-like Receptors 342

TLRs in Larval Fish 343

Inflammatory Cytokines and Antimicrobial Responses 343

Insiders of Immunity in Teleost Fish: The Mast Cells 344

Mast Cell Antimicrobial Peptides: The Piscidins 345

The Ontogeny of the Adaptive Immune System 346

Maternal Transfer of IgM 346

Development of T-cells and T-cell-associated Molecules 347

Steering Larval Microbial Communities to the Benefit of the Host 349

Microbial Contributions to Larval Nutrition and Physiology 349

Steering the Microbial Community Composition and/or Activity 352

Steering Microbial Community Composition 352

Steering Microbial Activity 353

Acknowledgements 354

References 354

9 Fantastically Plastic: Fish Larvae Equipped for a NewWorld 371
Karin Pittman, Manuel Yúfera, Michail Pavlidis, Audrey J. Geffen,William Koven, Laura Ribeiro, José L. Zambonino-Infante and Amos Tandler

Introduction 371

Mediating Environment – Structural Basis of Plasticity 375

Pineal 375

Thalamus/Hypothalamus 378

The Pituitary 379

Thyroid andThyroactive Compounds 380

The Adrenals (Early Development of the Adrenocortical and Chromaffin

Tissues (‘Adrenals‘) in Fish) 381

The Gonads 382

The Acoustic-Lateralis System 385

Structure of the Otolith System and its Components 385

Otolith Formation 385

Otolith Growth – Biomineralization and Control 386

Osmoregulation System 387

Functional Plasticity – Interactions Between the Internal and External

Environment Which Define the Phenotype 387

Sex Differentiation 387

Implication of TH in Metamorphic Processes 390

Thyroid Hormone and Metamorphic Transformations 390

Thyroid Hormone Response Genes in the Intestine 391

Environmental Iodine as a TH Precursor 392

Dietary Iodine and the Superiority of Natural Larval Zooplankton

Prey 393

Does Dietary Iodine, as a TH Precursor, Drive Metamorphosis? 394

The Cortisol Stress Response 395

Profile of Whole-Body Cortisol Concentrations During Early Ontogeny 395

Onset of the Cortisol Stress Response 396

Digestive Tract Development and Remodelling 398

Pigmentation 399

Consequences of External Factors 403

Environmental Information Content of the Otoliths 403

Adapting to Salinity 405

Effects of Temperature 406

Common Effects of Temperature inMetabolic Rates 406

Effects on Spawning and Embryonic Development 407

Effects on Muscle and Skeletal Development 407

Effect of Dietary Factors 409

Consequences on Skeletal Structures and Anatomy 409

Consequences on Metabolic Pathways 411

Consequences on Cardiovascular Performance 412

Consequences on Reproduction 413

Integrating the Effect of External Factors 413

Conclusions 415

Acknowledgements 418

References 418

10 Quality Descriptors and Predictors in Farmed Marine Fish Larvae and Juveniles 443
Giorgos Koumoundouros, Enric Gisbert, Ignacio Fernandez, Elsa Cabrita, Jorge Galindo-Villegas and Luis Conceição

Introduction 443

Morphology and Malformations 444

Biochemical and Molecular Biomarkers of Bone Formation and

Remodelling 447

Markers for Cell Differentiation and Proliferation 447

Markers of Extracellular Matrix (ECM) Mineralization and

Resorption 448

Biomarkers of Bone Resorption 448

Mineralization Ontogenesis and Mineral Content of Skeletal

Structures 449

Conclusions and Future Trends 449

Nutritional Condition 452

Growth Potential 455

Immunology and Microbiology 456

Sperm and Oocyte Quality as Predictor of Fertilizing Capacity 459

Conclusions and Perspectives 461

References 463

11 Conclusions 473

Broodstock and Egg Quality 474

Microbiology, Immunology and Larval Health 475

Feeding Biology and Digestive Function 475

Nutritional Requirements 476

Growth Potential and Dispersion 477

Skeletal Deformities and Other Abnormalities 477

Quality Indicators and Predictors 478

Index 483