University Of Tasmania

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A transcriptomic investigation of appetite-regulation and digestive processes in giant grouper Epinephelus lanceolatus during early larval development

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 22:09 authored by Kelli AndersonKelli Anderson, Knuckey, R, Canepa, M, Elizur, A

The giant grouper Epinephelus lanceolatus is an ecologically vulnerable species with high market demand. However, efforts to improve larval husbandry are hindered by a lack of knowledge surrounding larval developmental physiology. To address this shortfall, a transcriptomic approach was applied to larvae between 1 and 14 days post hatch (dph) to characterise the molecular ontogenesis of genes that influence appetite and digestion. Appetite regulating factors were detected from 1 dph, including neuropeptide Y, nesfatin‐1, cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcript, cholecystokinin and pituitary adenylate cyclase activating peptide and the expression level of several genes changed sharply with the onset of exogenous feeding. The level of expression for proteases, chitinases, lipases and amylases typically followed one of two expression patterns, a general increase as development progressed, or an inverted U‐shape with maximal expression at c. 6 dph. Similarly, the tendency among both expression patterns was for the level of expression to increase around the time of mouth‐opening. There was also evidence to suggest the presence of putative isoforms for several digestion‐related genes. We have provided an insight into appetite‐regulation and digestive processes in groupers during early larval development and have developed a transcriptomic database that will aid future efforts to rear this species in an aquaculture setting.


Publication title

Journal of Fish Biology










Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Place of publication

9600 Garsington Rd, Oxford, England, Oxon, Ox4 2Dg

Rights statement

© 2018 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Aquaculture fin fish (excl. tuna); Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences