IMIS | Flanders Marine Institute
 

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

IMIS

Publications | Institutes | Persons | Datasets | Projects | Maps
[ report an error in this record ]basket (0): add | show Printer-friendly version

Trophic modification of essential fatty acids by heterotrophic protists and its effects on the fatty acid composition of the copepod Acartia tonsa
Veloza, A.J.; Chu, F.-L.E.; Tang, K.W. (2006). Trophic modification of essential fatty acids by heterotrophic protists and its effects on the fatty acid composition of the copepod Acartia tonsa. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 148(4): 779-788. http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-005-0123-1
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Veloza, A.J.
  • Chu, F.-L.E.
  • Tang, K.W.

Abstract
    To test whether heterotrophic protists modify precursors of long chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCn-3PUFAs) present in the algae they eat, two algae with different fatty acid contents (Rhodomonas salina and Dunaliella tertiolecta) were fed to the heterotrophic protists Oxyrrhis marina Dujardin and Gyrodinium dominans Hulbert. These experiments were conducted in August 2004. Both predators and prey were analyzed for fatty acid composition. To further test the effects of trophic upgrading, the calanoid copepod Acartia tonsa Dana was fed R. salina, D. tertiolecta, or O. marina that had been growing on D. tertiolecta (OM-DT) in March 2005. Our results show that trophic upgrading was species-specific. The presence of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the heterotrophic protists despite the lack of these fatty acids in the algal prey suggests that protists have the ability to elongate and desaturate 18:3 (n-3), a precursor of LCn-3PUFAs, to EPA and/or DHA. A lower content of these fatty acids was detected in protists that were fed good-quality algae. Feeding experiments with A. tonsa showed that copepods fed D. tertiolecta had a significantly lower content of EPA and DHA than those fed OM-DT. The concentration of EPA was low on both diets, while DHA content was highest in A. tonsa fed R. salina and OM-DT. These results suggest that O. marina was able to trophically upgrade the nutritional quality of the poor-quality alga, and efficiently supplied DHA to the next trophic level. The low amount of EPA in A. tonsa suggests EPA may be catabolized by the copepod.

All data in IMIS is subject to the VLIZ privacy policy Top | Authors