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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 335:155-165 (2007)  -  doi:10.3354/meps335155

Diversity of the fatty acid composition of Artemia spp. cysts from Argentinean populations

O. Ruiz1,*, G. R. Medina1, R. G. Cohen2, F. Amat1, J. C. Navarro1

1Instituto de Acuicultura de Torre de la Sal (CSIC), 12595 Ribera de Cabanes, Castellón, Spain
2Departamento de Biodiversidad y Biología Experimental, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, C/Ciudad Universitaria, Pabellón II, Buenos Aires 1428, Argentina

ABSTRACT: Nauplii of the branchiopod crustacean Artemia spp. are widely used as live food in aquaculture. Their nutritional value depends essentially on the fatty acid profile of their lipids, which can be very variable. Study of this variability (often species- and/or ecology-related) proposes interesting theoretical and applied questions. In the present study, cysts (dehydrated dormant eggs) from Argentinean Artemia spp. populations were analysed for their fatty acid profile. Most of the cyst samples analysed (n = 16) were obtained from Artemia persimilis populations, but 3 belonged to A. franciscana. Previous research indicated that A. persimilis populations are confined to inland biotopes, but in this study we report the presence of A. persimilis populations in coastal ecosystems. Cysts from all populations exhibited fatty acid profiles typical of either marine or freshwater, irrespective of the inland or coastal origin of their biotope. This study represents the first time that a significant amount of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5n-3) was detected in A. persimilis cyst samples. We hypothesize on some factors that presumably influence the fatty acid profiles of Artemia spp. cysts: (1) food resources from different habitats, which in turn can be influenced by environmental parameters, (2) the genetic make-up of each population, and/or (3) mechanisms of selective feeding.

KEY WORDS: Artemia · Fatty acids · Inland waters · Salt lakes · Ionic composition · Brines · Marine type · Freshwater type

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