Marine Biology

, Volume 144, Issue 4, pp 693–703 | Cite as

Effect of additions of dietary triacylglycerol microspheres on growth, survival, and settlement of mussel (Mytilus sp.) larvae

  • F. PernetEmail author
  • R. Tremblay
  • C. Langdon
  • E. Bourget
Research Article


This study reports the effect of additions of dietary microspheres of triacylglycerol (TAG, extracted from the diatom Chaetoceros muelleri) on larval development and settlement of Mytilus sp. The first experiment showed that mussel larvae successfully ingested TAG microspheres as soon as they acquired the ability to feed from exogenous sources. In a second experiment, larvae were fed for 28 days on diets consisting of 0, 1, 20, or 50% TAG microspheres (based on the cell concentration of a full algal ration) added as partial replacements for a ration of Isochrysis sp. (T-ISO). Lipid content and growth of larvae fed on a diet composed of 20% TAG were higher than those of the control groups, whereas survival was negatively affected. No growth or survival effect was detected with larvae fed on a diet composed of 1% TAG, whereas high mortality after 14 days was observed for larvae fed on a diet composed of 50% TAG microspheres. In a third experiment, 22-day-old larvae were fed on rations of Isochrysis sp. supplemented with 0, 1, 10, 20, 50, and 100% TAG for 2 days and allowed to settle for a 7-day period. TAG content of the larvae increased with TAG added to the diet until a saturation threshold was reached between a 20 and 50% supplementation level. Similarly, free fatty acid (FFA) content increased with TAG level in the diet and was linearly correlated with TAG content of larvae. Increased levels of FFA in larvae were attributed to digestion of TAG supplements. Settlement success and survival of larvae were not affected by diet; however, regression analysis revealed that TAG level in pre-metamorphic larvae explained 28% of survival variability among cultures.


Microalgae Free Fatty Acid Content Isochrysis Lipid Class Composition Swimming Larva 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors thank E.-J. Arsenault, Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR), and E. Hamelin, Ministère de l’Agriculture des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ), for their assistance with the culture of larvae and sample collection. Thanks also to U. Önal, Oregon State University, for helpful discussion on the preparation of lipid microspheres. We are grateful to R. Fournier, Institut des sciences de la mer (ISMER), who kindly let us use his process to make algal paste, and M.E. Carbonneau, Centre de Transformation des Produits Aquatiques (CTPA), for the use of a gas chromatograph. Thanks also to G. Daigle, Département de mathématique et statistique, Université Laval, Quebec, for assistance with statistical analyses. Funding for this research was provided by CORPAQ (Conseil des Recherches en Pêche et en Agro-alimentaire du Québec), Centre Aquacole de la Côte-Nord (CACN), MAPAQ, and GIROQ (Groupe Interuniversitaire de Recherches Océanographiques du Québec). The authors declare that experiments conducted during this study comply with the current laws of Canada.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Pernet
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  • R. Tremblay
    • 2
  • C. Langdon
    • 3
  • E. Bourget
    • 4
  1. 1.Québec OcéanUniversité LavalQuebecCanada
  2. 2.SODIMQuebecCanada
  3. 3.Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station, Hatfield Marine Sciences CenterOregon State UniversityNewportUSA
  4. 4.Vice-rectorat à la RechercheUniversité de SherbrookeQuebecCanada
  5. 5.National Research CouncilHalifaxCanada

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