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Role of temperature on lipid/fatty acid composition in Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus) eggs and unfed larvae
Laurel, B.J.; Copeman, L.A.; Parrish, C.C. (2012). Role of temperature on lipid/fatty acid composition in Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus) eggs and unfed larvae. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 159(9): 2025-2034.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Laurel, B.J.
  • Copeman, L.A.
  • Parrish, C.C.

    During early development, oviparous fish species must use finite lipid and fatty acid (FA) reserves for both catabolism and structural components. In cold environments, developing fish have the additional constraint of maintaining membrane fluidity for metabolic efficiency (homeoviscous adaptation), resulting in further demand on lower melting point FAs like n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). To examine whether marine fish embryos physiologically adapt to changing temperature environments, we incubated Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus) eggs at 5 temperatures (0, 2, 4, 6, and 8 °C) in the laboratory and sampled them repeatedly during development to measure changes in lipid/FA composition. Pacific cod embryos increased n-3 PUFA content during the egg stage in all temperature treatments, with the possible exception of 0 °C, where poor survival and hatch success limited our ability for continued sampling. At the beginning of the hatch cycle, free-swimming embryos shifted from lipogenesis to lipid catabolism. The rates of lipogenesis and catabolism were temperature dependent, and the distinct increase in unsaturated fatty acids at temperatures <8 °C was consistent with homeoviscous adaptation theory. However, with the possible exception of embryos at 0 °C, the relative amounts of essential fatty acids (e.g., EPA, DHA, AA) were conserved in a similar manner across incubation temperatures. Collectively, these data suggest Pacific cod are capable of homeoviscous adaptation but cannot tolerate temperatures approaching 0 °C despite their possible ability to biosynthesize PUFAs from other energetic sources.

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