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Coupling feeding activity, growth rates and molecular data shows dietetic needs of Ciona robusta (Ascidiacea, Phlebobranchia) in automatic culture plants.


ABSTRACT: The sea squirt Ciona robusta is a model organism characterized by a transparent body, exhibiting peculiar physiologic and evolutionary characters. In vitro fertilization and breeding of sea squirts is possible, in order to preserve consistent genetic pools. However, some aspects of its biology, as the feeding efficiency according to diet quantity and quality, are still scarcely known. Here we test the effects of three experimental diets on survival and growth, to detect physiological and molecular responses to various types of alimentary suspended particles and the effects of feed concentrations. We also aimed at determining rearing conditions able to limit handling operations, save artificial seawater and control water pollution. Molecular analyses of growth-related genes were performed to detect stressful effects due to feed quality and quantity. A strong effect of doses was highlighted, but water pollution may represent a major concern. A compound diet containing both live algae and non-live particles of a correct size is indispensable to assure development, low stress and high survival rates. Overall, our findings suggest protocols for an easier rearing of Ciona robusta in the laboratory, increasing the potentialities of these organisms as models for research.

SUBMITTER: Zupo V 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7347631 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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