Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Ontogenetic changes in DNA and RNA content of laboratory-reared Prochilodus lineatus larvae: use of RNA/DNA ratios as indicators of nutritional condition

M. V. Diaz A B E , M. I. Gómez C , S. Sánchez D and C. M. Fuentes C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero (INIDEP), Paseo V. Ocampo 1, Escollera Norte, Mar del Plata, B7602HSA, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

B Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (IIMyC-CONICET), Rodríguez Peña 4002-4100, Mar del Plata, B7602GSD, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

C Dirección de Pesca Continental, Ministerio de Agroindustria, Avenida Paseo Colón 982, C1063ACJ, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina.

D Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Instituto de Ictiología del Nordeste, Universidad Nacional del Nordeste. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Sargento Cabral 2139, Corrientes, W3402BKG, Corrientes, Argentina.

E Corresponding author. Email: mdiaz@inidep.edu.ar

Marine and Freshwater Research - https://doi.org/10.1071/MF17178
Submitted: 11 June 2017  Accepted: 9 October 2017   Published online: 12 January 2018

Abstract

The aims of the present study were to describe the ontogenetic performance of DNA and RNA content, as well as to assess the nutritional condition of Prochilodus lineatus larvae reared under different feeding treatments. The experiment consisted of two parts, the first 6–14 days after hatching (DAH) and the second 15–21 DAH. In the first part of the experiment, larvae were kept under one of two feeding treatments: fed or starved. During the second part of the experiment, larvae were kept under one of four treatments: fed, fed until 14 DAH and later starved, starved until 14 DAH and fed later or starved. It is of note that the size and weight reached of larvae that were starved during early development and later received food were higher than those of than larvae in the other feeding treatments. In addition, instantaneous growth rates were higher and nutritional condition was better in larvae that were initially starved and fed later. The availability of food following a period of starvation seems to trigger larval metabolism and cellular division. Consequently, we recommend maintaining appropriate food provision in the aquaculture of P. lineatus larvae, especially in advanced developmental stages. We verified that RNA/DNA ratio is affected by the feeding condition and that it is sensitive enough to promptly reflect changes in feeding conditions of P. lineatus larvae. Thus, the RNA/DNA ratio could be used to assess nutritional condition of both wild and cultured P. lineatus larvae.

Additional keywords: fish larvae, fresh water, laboratory calibration, nucleic acids content, starvation.


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