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Effects of food availability on growth performance and immune-related gene expression of juvenile olive flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus)

Lee, Seunghyung, Lee, Young Mee, Kim, Kyung-Hee, Kim, Hyun Chul, Park, Choul-Ji, Park, Jong-Won, Noh, Gyeong Eon, Kim, Woo-Jin, Hwang, Hyung-Kyu
Fish & shellfish immunology 2018 v.80 pp. 348-356
Paralichthys olivaceus, Toll-like receptor 3, aquaculture, body weight, energy content, environmental factors, farmed fish, flounder, food availability, gene expression regulation, genes, growth performance, immune response, immunoglobulin M, interleukin-8, juveniles, lysozyme, models, nutritional status, overfeeding, rearing, regression analysis, restricted feeding, shellfish, superoxide dismutase, tanks, weight gain
Unfavorable environmental conditions and inappropriate culture practices have increased the vulnerability of cultured fish to disease infection. Up to date many studies have aimed to determine a feeding regimen to maximize productivity; however, very little information on immune responses of cultured fish in response to underfeeding or overfeeding is available. Therefore, a preliminary study was conducted to evaluate effects of graded feeding levels (i.e., food availability) on growth performance and immune-related gene expression of juvenile olive flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus). Six different feeding rates including 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, and 16% body weight per day (BW/d) were randomly assigned to three replicate tanks stocking 150 fish (average initial body weight: 0.27 ± 0.02 g; mean ± SD) per tank. A feeding trial lasted for two weeks. Based on the results of the weight gain, nutrient gain, and whole-body compositions and energy content, the feeding rate of 10%, 13%, and 16% BW/d resulted in high nutritional status, whereas the feeding rate of 1% and 4% BW/d resulted in low nutritional status. Intermediate nutritional status was observed at the feeding rate of 7% BW/d. In the given rearing conditions the optimum feeding rate resulting in the maximum growth was estimated to be 11.9% BW/d based on the quadratic broken-line regression model, chosen as the best-fit model among the tested models. Expression of immune-related genes including IL-8 and IgM was significantly down-regulated in the flounder fed at 1% BW/d in comparison to those fed at 7% BW/d. Interestingly, expression of these genes in the flounder fed at 10%, 13%, and 16% BW/d was relatively down-regulated in comparison to that of the flounder fed at 7% BW/d. Although no statistical difference was detected, overall response patterns of other immune-related genes, including TLR3, polymeric Ig receptor, lysozyme C-type, GPx, SOD, and Trx followed what IL-8 and IgM exhibited in response to the various feeding rates. Given the current challenges in aquaculture of the flounder our findings suggest to prohibit underfeeding or overfeeding (i.e., ad-libitum feeding) when culturing the young flounder.