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Effect of incubation temperature on muscle growth of barramundi Lates calcarifer at hatch and post-exogenous feeding

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Muscle morphology was investigated in newly hatched barramundi Lates calcarifer larvae incubated at set temperatures (26, 29 and 31° C) prior to hatching. Three days after hatching (the start of exogenous feeding), larvae from the 26 and 31° C treatments were each divided into two groups and reared at that temperature or transferred over the period of several hours to 29° C (control temperature). Incubation temperature significantly affected muscle cellularity in the developing embryo, with larvae incubated at 26° C (mean ±s.e. 223·3 ± 7·9) having on average 14·4% more inner muscle fibres than those incubated at 31° C (195·2 ± 8·8) and 4·8% more than those incubated at 29° C (213·5 ± 4·7). Conversely, inner muscle fibre cross-sectional area significantly increased at the warm incubation temperature in L. calcarifer, so that the total cross-sectional muscle area was not different between treatment groups. The total cross-sectional area of superficial muscle fibres and the proportion of superficial to total fibre cross-sectional area in just hatched L. calcarifer were also affected by incubation temperature, with incubation at the cool temperature (26° C) increasing both the total cross-sectional area and proportion of superficial muscle fibres. By 9 days post-hatch, the aforementioned differences were no longer significant. Similarly, there was no difference in total superficial fibre cross-sectional area between any treatment groups of L. calcarifer, whereas incubation temperature still significantly affected the proportion of superficial to total muscle fibre cross-sectional area. Larvae hatched and grown at 31° C had a significantly reduced percentage of superficial muscle cross-sectional area (mean ±s.e. 5·11 ± 0·66%) compared with those incubated and grown at 29° C (8·04 ± 0·77%) and 26° C (9·32 ± 0·56%) and those incubated at 26° C and transferred to 29° C (7·52 ± 0·53%), and incubated at 31° C and transferred to 29° C (6·28 ± 0·69%). These results indicate that changes in muscle cellularity induced by raising or lowering the incubation temperature of L. calcarifer display varying degrees of persistence over developmental time. The significance of these findings to the culture of L. calcarifer is discussed.

Keywords: hyperplasia; inner muscle; myogenesis; superficial muscle

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia 2: School of Integrative Biology, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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