Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 473–481 | Cite as

Changes in free amino acid profile of red snapper Lutjanus campechanus, eggs, and developing larvae

  • R. P. Hastey
  • R. P. Phelps
  • D. A. Davis
  • K. A. Cummins


The free amino acids (FAA) profile was determined for newly fertilized eggs and resultant larvae from wild-caught red snapper Lutjanus campechanus induced to spawn with hCG. Yolk sac and oil globule volumes of eggs and larvae were monitored over time from digital photographs. FAA profiles of the eggs and larvae were measured in picomoles (pmol) of FAA/mg of eggs by HPLC. Newly fertilized eggs had a mean total FAA content of 21.72 ± 3.55 nmoles/egg (92.81 ± 9.71 nmoles/mg eggs). Leucine, valine, lysine, and isoleucine were the most abundant essential FAA comprising 35.9% of the total FAA. Alanine, serine, asparagine, and glycine were the most abundant non-essential FAA comprising 34.2% of the total FAA. At 24 h post-hatch (hph) the mean total FAA had decreased by 81% since egg fertilization. The bulk of the FAA decrease was between the time of hatch and 12 hph. Only 8.5 ± 1.5% of the initial concentration in fertilized eggs of isoleucine, 9.7 ± 2.5% of arginine, and 9.9 ± 2.0% of threonine remained at 12 hph. Among the non-essential FAA, alanine dropped the most by 12 hph with 4.6% of the concentration found in a recently fertilized egg remaining, while cysteine had increased 254.7 ± 26.2%. The yolk sac volume decreased rapidly in the first 12 hph and was further reduced 77.0 ± 2.5% from 12 to 24 hph. The oil globule depletion rate was a more linear decline from fertilized egg to 36 hph.


Free amino acids Red snapper, Lutjanus campechanus Marine fish eggs Marine fish larva Aquaculture 



This study was funded by USDA Special Research Grant PO 2002-06152. The authors are grateful to the Alabama Marine Resources Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for the support and technical assistance during this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. P. Hastey
    • 1
    • 3
  • R. P. Phelps
    • 1
  • D. A. Davis
    • 1
  • K. A. Cummins
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Fisheries and Allied AquaculturesAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA
  2. 2.Department of Animal SciencesAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA
  3. 3.Center for Cooperative Aquaculture ResearchFranklinUSA

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