Future aquafeeds may compromise reproductive fitness in a marine invertebrate
White, CA and Dworjanyn, SA and Nichols, PD and Mos, B and Dempster, T, Future aquafeeds may compromise reproductive fitness in a marine invertebrate, Marine Environmental Research, 122 pp. 67-75. ISSN 0141-1136 (2016) [Refereed Article]
Aquaculture of higher trophic level species is increasingly dependent on the use of terrestrial oil products. The input of terrestrially derived n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) into marine environments has subsequently increased, with unknown consequences for recipient species. We exposed a sea urchin, Heliocidaris erythrogramma to three experimental diets for 78 days: a high n-3 PUFA marine imitation treatment, a high n-6 PUFA "future aquafeed" treatment and an intermediate "current aquafeed" treatment. Female urchins fed the high n-6 PUFA diet produced larvae with lower survival rates than all other treatments. Males fed the high n-6 PUFA diet produced no viable sperm. Fatty acid composition in reproductive material revealed comprehensive biosynthetic and dietary sparing capabilities in H. erythrogramma. Despite this, the ratio of n-6 PUFA to n-3 PUFA in reproductive tissue increased significantly with diet. We suggest alterations to this ratio is the likely mechanism of negative impact on larval development.