In this study, broodstock animals of the tropical scallop Nodipecten nodosus were submitted to maturation trials using two dietary sources of astaxanthin: dried microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis (Algamac AST) and live microalgae obtained from in vitro cultures. The influence of astaxanthin on broodstock maturation was assessed by analyzing stages of gonadal development, accumulation of astaxanthin in sexual organs, animal fecundity, and recovery success rates of larvae and spat. Two experiments (1 and 2) were performed to test dietary concentrations of dried H. pluvialis mixed with live microalgae (Isochrysis sp., Chaetoceros muelleri, and Skeletonema sp.). A third experiment tested 50% dried H. pluvialis with live H. pluvialis versus a diet composed of live C. muelleri. All diets were calculated to a final concentration of 7.5 × 104 algal cells/mL1. In experiments 1 and 2, the 50% Algamac AST diet resulted in a greater (P < 0.05) accumulation of astaxanthin in the female portion of the gonad, and all diets were found to improve gonad maturation. In addition, the presence of dried microalgae in the diet enhanced D-larvae and pediveliger survival. In experiment 3, live H. pluvialis in the diet resulted in a greater accumulation of astaxanthin in the female portion of the gonad and a greater percentage of recovery of D-larvae and pediveligers. The results demonstrate that dietary carotenoids affect N. nodosus larval viability positively.
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Vol. 33 • No. 1