Performance of Debaryomyces hansenii as a Diet for Rotifers for Feeding Zebrafish Larvae.Zebrafish. 2017 04; 14(2):187-194.Z
The zebrafish larval stage is a critical moment due to high mortality rates associated with inadequate supplies of nutritional requirements. Larval feeding has important challenges associated with such factors as small mouth gape (≈100 μm), the low activity of digestive enzymes, and the intake of live food. A common zebrafish live food at the onset of exogenous feeding is rotifers, mainly Brachionus plicatilis. These rotifers should be fed with other microorganisms such as microalgae or yeast, mostly from the Saccharomyces genus. In the laboratory, the culture of microalgae is more expensive than the culture of yeast. The aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of Debaryomyces hansenii as a diet for rotifers in comparison to a microalgae-based diet (Rotigrow®). To achieve this aim, we assessed the rotifer total protein content, the rotifers fatty acid profile, zebrafish larval growth performance, the expression of key growth, and endocrine appetite regulation genes. The total protein and fatty acids content were similar in both rotifer cultures, averaging 35% of dry matter (DM) and 18% of DM, respectively. Interestingly, the fatty acids profile showed differences between the two rotifer cultures: omega-3 fatty acids were only observed in the Microalgae/rotifer, whereas, omega-6 fatty acids presented similar levels in both rotifer cultures. No differences were observed in the larval body length distribution or mortalities between the rotifer cultures. However, gh, igf-1, and cck gene expression showed significantly higher upregulation in zebrafish fed the Microalgae/rotifer diet compared with those fed the Debaryomyces/rotifer diet. In conclusion, D. hansenii could be an alternative diet for rotifer used as a live food in zebrafish larvae at the onset of exogenous feeding. The gene responses observed in this work open up the opportunity to study the effect of omega-3 supply on growth regulation in zebrafish.