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Effects of six diets on the growth and survival rates of postlarvae of red abalone (Haliotis rufescens) and its hybrid (H. rufescens ♀ × H. fulgens ♂)
Francesco Cicala, Miguel A. Tripp-Valdez, Vincent Montes-Orozco, Gesem. Cervantes-Vazquez, Fabiola Lafarga-De la Cruz

One of the main bottlenecks in abalone aquaculture is maintaining individuals during the weaning stage, when the natural diet changes from diatoms (postlarvae) to macroalgae (juvenile). During this period, abalone pass through profound morphological and physiological changes, which suitable nutrient requirements must sustain. An inadequate diet can result in adverse effects such as late metamorphosis, starvation, slow growth and even death during this phase. Two strategies have been proposed to increase the growth and survival rates of weaning abalone: (i) extending feeding with benthic diatoms and (ii) abalone hybridization via interspecific crosses. To evaluate the efficiency of the two strategies, we assessed the growth and survival rates of postlarvae of pure red abalone (Haliotis rufescens) and a hybrid obtained by crossing red abalone females with green abalone (H. fulgens) males. Both crosses were supplied with six different diets consisting of either one macroalgae mono-diet (Macrocystis pyrifera or Ulva ohnoi) or a mixture with Navicula incerta. Overall, cross-specific diets achieved better growth rates, suggesting that each cross may need specific food items (nutrients) during weaning. Moreover, pure red abalone generally showed the highest growth rates, while the hybrid abalone showed the highest survival rates with most tested diets. Hence, hybrids appear to be better at withstanding stressful conditions, and their use in aquaculture could reduce losses and increase commercial production.

Keywords: weaning abalone; Haliotis rufescens; Haliotis fulgens; hybrid vigour; Macrocystis pyrifera; benthic diatom
Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 87(1) : 55-55 Back PDF
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