DAO 46:165-172 (2001)  -  doi:10.3354/dao046165

Performance of WSSV-infected and WSSV-negative Penaeus monodon postlarvae in culture ponds

Shao-En Peng1, Chu-Fang Lo1, San-Ching Lin1, Li-Li Chen1, Yun-Shiang Chang1, Kuan-Fu Liu2, Mao-Sen Su2, Guang-Hsiung Kou1,*

1Department of Zoology, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC
2Tungkang Marine Laboratory, Taiwan Fisheries Research Institute, Tungkang, Pingtung, Taiwan, ROC
*Corresponding author. E-mail:

ABSTRACT: In a survey of 27 Penaeus monodon culture ponds stocked with postlarvae (~PL10) at medium density (~40 shrimp m-2), single-step nested white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) PCR was used to measure the WSSV infection rates in the shrimp populations within 1 mo after stocking. Seven ponds were initially WSSV-free, and the shrimp in 5 of these were harvested successfully. In the ponds (n = 6) where detection rates were higher than 50%, mass mortality occurred during the growth period, and none of these ponds was harvested successfully. In a subsequent study, P. monodon brooders were classified into 3 groups according to their WSSV infection status before and after spawning: brooders that were WSSV-positive before spawning were assigned to group A; spawners that became WSSV-positive only after spawning were assigned to group B; and group C consisted of brooders that were still WSSV-negative after spawning. WSSV screening showed that 75, 44 and 14%, respectively, of group A, B and C brooders produced nauplii that were WSSV-positive. Most (57%; 16/28) of the brooders in group A produced nauplii in which the WSSV prevalence was high (>50%).When a pond was stocked with high-prevalence nauplii from 1 of these group A brooders, an outbreak of white spot syndrome occurred within 3 wk and only ~20% of the initial population survived through to harvest (after 174 d). By contrast, 2 other ponds stocked with low-prevalence and WSSV-negative nauplii (derived respectively from 2 brooders in group B), both had much higher survival rates (70 to 80%) and yielded much larger (~3x by weight) total harvests. We conclude that testing the nauplii is an effective and practical screening strategy for commercially cultured P. monodon.

KEY WORDS: White spot syndrome virus · WSSV · Single-step nested WSSV PCR · Predictive power of screening · Penaeus monodon

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