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Franke, Andrea; Roth, Olivia; De Schryver, Peter; Bayer, Till; Garcia-Gonzalez, Linsey; Künzel, Sven; Bossier, Peter; Miest, Joanna; Clemmesen, Catriona (2017): Gene expression, growth and survival of European sea bass yolk-sac larvae (Dicentrarchus labrax) after PHB administration. PANGAEA,, Supplement to: Franke, A et al. (2017): Poly-ß-hydroxybutyrate administration during early life: effects on performance, immunity and microbial community of European sea bass yolk-sac larvae. Scientific Reports, 7(1),

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The reliable production of marine fish larvae is one of the major bottlenecks in aquaculture due to high mortalities mainly caused by infectious diseases. To evaluate if the compound poly-ß-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) might be a suitable immunoprophylactic measure in fish larviculture, its capacity to improve immunity and performance in European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) yolk-sac larvae was explored. Dietary PHB was applied from mouth opening onwards to stimulate the developing larval immune system at the earliest possible point in time. Larval survival, growth, microbiota composition, gene expression profiles and disease resistance were assessed. PHB administration improved larval survival and, furthermore, altered the larva-associated microbiota composition. The bacterial challenge test using pathogenic Vibrio anguillarum revealed that the larval disease resistance was not influenced by PHB. The expression profiles of 26 genes involved e.g. in the immune response showed that PHB affected the expression of the antimicrobial peptides ferritin (fer) and dicentracin (dic), however, the response to PHB was inconsistent and weaker than previously demonstrated for sea bass post-larvae. Hence, the present study highlights the need for more research focusing on the immunostimulation of different early developmental stages for gaining a more comprehensive picture and advancing a sustainable production of high quality fry.
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