Fatty acids, sterols, phenolic compounds, and carotenoid changes in response to dietary inclusion of Ulva clathrata in shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei broodstock

  • Cristina Corral-Rosales
  • Denis Ricque-Marie
  • Lucia Elizabeth Cruz-Suárez
  • Olivia Arjona
  • Elena PalaciosEmail author


Changes in lipid reserves as a result of supplementing 3.4% Ulva clathrata meal in the diet (based on dry weight of all ingredienta) for Litopenaeus vannamei broodstock were evaluated in a commercial larval laboratory. The profile of fatty acids, sterols, carotenoids, and phenolic compounds in the gonad, hepatopancreas, and muscle of females with unilateral ablation was analyzed. Shrimp fed the Ulva supplemented diet had significantly higher proportions of arachidonic acid (20:4n-6) in the acylglycerides of mature gonads (84% increase) compared with mature controls. In the phospholipids of mature gonads, there was a 30% increase of 18:3n-3, 13% increase of 20:4n-6, and 10% of docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3) in Ulva-fed shrimp compared with controls. 22:6n-3 also increased 51% in the lipid reserves of hepatopancreas of Ulva-fed shrimp compared with controls. Carotenoids increased by 43% in the gonads and fivefold in the hepatopancreas of mature females fed Ulva. The proportion of fucosterol and isofucosterol went from undetectable in controls to 0.3 and 0.2%, respectively, in shrimp fed the algae. No significant differences were found in muscle. Phenolic compounds in the gonad were higher in mature gonads compared with immature, but no significant differences were found in relation to Ulva consumption. Carotenoids and phenolic compounds present in Ulva might be acting as antioxidants of highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs), increasing the proportion of 20:4n-6 and 22:6n-3, but other mechanisms associated to these compounds and to fucosterol can be synchronizing oocyte maturation and increasing transport of HUFA during vitellogenesis, and together, they are further impacting the reproductive performance of shrimp.


Antioxidant activity Carotenoids Fucosterol Ulva clathrata Nutrition Pigments 



The authors thank the owners and the technical team of the commercial hatchery (Larvas GranMar S.A. de C.V.), without which this work would not have been possible. The authors also thank Alberto Peña PhD and the Aonori Aquafarm directives for the donation of Ulva clathrata samples. DCCR received a doctorate scholarship from CONACYT, Mexico Grant No. 455811.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Programa MariculturaUniversidad Autónoma de Nuevo LeónSan Nicolás de los GarzaMexico
  2. 2.Programa de AcuiculturaCentro de Investigaciones Biológicas del NoroesteLa PazMexico

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