Selection for high growth improves reproductive performance of gilthead seabream Sparus aurata under mass spawning conditions, regardless of the dietary lipid source

Skretting water
Animal Reproduction Science 241:106989, 01 May 2022
Ferosekhan S., S.Sarih, J.M. Afonso, M.J. Zamorano, R. Fontanillas, M. Izquierdo, S. Kaushik, D. Montero


Genetic selection programmes in gilthead seabream mainly focus on traits related to growth, disease resistance, skeletal anomalies, or fillet quality. However, the effect of selection for growth on the reproductive performance of seabream broodstock has not received much attention. The present study aimed to determine the effect of selection for growth traits, high (HG) or low (LG) growth, and broodstock feeding with fish oil (FO diet) or rapeseed oil (RO diet) as main lipid sources, on reproductive performance of gilthead seabream. For the first part of the spawning season (Phase I) HG and LG broodstock were fed a commercial diet and the HG broodstock produced a higher number of larvae and higher viable eggs, hatching and larval survival rates than LG broodstock, affecting egg fatty acid profiles. For the second part of the study (Phase II) broodstock were fed one of the two diets containing FO or RO. Fecundity in terms of viable eggs, hatchlings, and larvae produced, as well as fertilization rates, were improved in HG broodstock. Some fatty acids such as 18:0, 20:2n-6, 20:3n-3 or EPA/ARA were also affected by the growth selection. According to the two-way ANOVA analysis, feeding the RO diet did not significantly affect fecundity parameters, but slightly reduced fertilization and hatching rates in HG broodstock. Nevertheless, HG broodstock showed better spawning quality parameters than LG broodstock, even when they were fed the RO diet. Egg fatty acid profiles reflected diet composition, although DHA contents were not affected. In conclusion, broodstock selected for high growth had a positive effect on broodstock performance, and FO replacement by RO did not markedly affect reproduction providing that fatty acid contents were sufficient to fulfil the essential fatty acid requirements of gilthead seabream broodstock.