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Effects of genetics and early life mild hypoxia on individual growth and size variation in gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata)

AuthorsErick Perera; Enrique Rosell-Moll; Fernando Naya-Català; Paula Simó-Mirabet; Josep Calduch-Giner; Jaume Pérez-Sánchez
KeywordsSize heterogeneity
Growth compensation
Early life hypoxia
Selective breeding
Gilthead sea bream
Issue Date16-Nov-2020
PublisherSpringer Nature
CitationFish Physiology and Biochemistry
AbstractThe present study evaluated, in an 18-month gilthead sea bream trial, the time course effects of genetics on individual size variation and growth compensation processes in the offspring of families selected by growth in the PROGENSA breeding program. Families categorized as fast, intermediate and slow growing had different growth trajectories with a more continuous growth in fast growth families. This feature was coincident with a reduced size variation at the beginning of the trial that clustered together the half-sib families sharing the same father. Correlation analysis evidenced that the magnitude of compensatory growth was proportional to the initial size variation with no rescaling of families at this stage. By contrast, the finishing growth depensation process can mask, at least partially, the previous family convergence. This reflects the different contribution across the production cycle of genetics and environmental factors in growth, production and welfare. How early life experiences affect growth compensatory at juvenile stages was also evaluated in a separate cohort, and intriguingly, a first mild-hypoxia pulse at 60-81 days posthatching (dph) increased survival rates by 10% preventing growth impairment when fish were exposed to a second hypoxia episode (112-127 dph). The early hypoxia experience did not have a negative impact on growth compensatory processes at juvenile stages. By contrast, a diminished capacity for growth compensation was found with repeated or late hypoxia experiences. All this reinforces the use of size variation as a main criterion for improving intensive fish farming or selective breeding into practice.
Publisher version (URL)https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10695-020-00899-1
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