MEPS 387:223-239 (2009)  -  doi:10.3354/meps08088

Net gain of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in a lugworm Arenicola marina bioturbated mesocosm

Peter J. W. Olive1,*, Thanya Duangchinda2, Elizabeth Ashforth3, Stephen Craig4, Alan C. Ward3, Simon J. Davies5

1School of Marine Science and Technology, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK
2Aquacultural Biotechnology Research Unit, Thaksin University, Phatthalung Campus, 93110, Thailand
3School of Biology, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK
4Mermaid Sustainable Resources (Seabait Ltd.), Woodhorn Village, Ashington, Northumberland, NE63 9NW, UK
5School of Biological Sciences, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA, UK

ABSTRACT: A net gain in long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) occurs in Arenicola marina bioturbated mesocosms in the light and dark when brewery yeast is the only food. Fatty acid profiles were determined by GC-MS and quantified for system units. Bacterial fatty acid biosynthesis is indicated by accumulation of the bacterial fatty acids anteiso 14:0, iso 15:0, iso 16:0, anteiso 16:0, iso 17:0, C16:1n-7 and C18:1n-7 (cis-vaccenic acid). De novo production of longer chain PUFA within the worm tissues is implicated by a chain elongation converting linoleic acid (C18:2n-6) to C20:2n-6 and subsequent desaturation, resulting in a gain of arachidonic acid (C20:4n-6) and eicosapentaenoic acid (C20:5n-3) via the intermediary C20:3n-6. To test for the presence of PUFA-synthesising bacteria in system units, 495 cloned 16S rDNA fragments were compared with the databases and degenerate PCR primers were designed for the ketoacyl acyl carrier protein synthase gene highly conserved in the polyketide synthase region of known PUFA-synthesising Gammaproteobacteria. Gammaproteobacteria related to known PUFA producers were not abundant (<1% of clones) and PCR primers, whose specificity was confirmed by conspecific amplification of DNA product from genomic DNA of Shewenella frigidimarina 12253T and Colwellia psychrethraea 8813T, did not amplify product from mesocosm DNA samples. PUFA production is therefore primarily due to processes within the lugworm A. marina. Biosynthesis by invertebrates may be significant in benthic ecosystems and their culture has the potential to contribute to non-fishery sources of essential fatty acids required for aquaculture feeds.


KEY WORDS: Fatty acid biosynthesis · Elongase · PUFA · Polychaeta · Marine food web · Arenicola marina · Aquaculture nutrition · Aquaculture feeds


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Cite this article as: Olive PJW, Duangchinda T, Ashforth E, Craig S, Ward AC, Davies SJ (2009) Net gain of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in a lugworm Arenicola marina bioturbated mesocosm. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 387:223-239

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