Section 13
Chapter 12,811

Physiological bases of genetically determined variation in growth of marine invertebrate larvae: a study of growth heterosis in the bivalve Crassostrea gigas

Pace, D.A.; Marsh, A.G.; Leong, P.K.; Green, A.J.; Hedgecock, D.; Manahan, D.T.

Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 335(2): 188-209


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-0981
DOI: 10.1016/j.jembe.2006.03.005
Accession: 012810374

Download citation:  

Many species of marine animals have larval stages whose rates of growth in the plankton are regulated by complex combinations of biological and environmental factors. In this study, we focus on the physiological bases that underlie endogenous variation in growth potential of larvae. Our approach was based on experimental crosses of gravid adults from pedigreed families of the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas. This produced large numbers of larvae with different growth rates when reared under similar environmental conditions of food and temperature. A total of 35 larval families were reared to test hypotheses regarding the physiological bases of growth variation. Growth rate of these larval families varied over a five-fold range, from 3.4 ([plus or minus]0.5, S.E.) to 17.6 ([plus or minus]0.6) [mu]m day-1. The suite of integrated measurements applied to study growth variation included size, biochemical compositions, rates of particulate and dissolved nutrient acquisition, absorption efficiencies, respiration rates and enzyme activities. We show that a complex set of physiological processes regulated differences in genetically determined growth rates of larvae. One-half of the energy required for faster growth came from an enhanced, size-specific feeding ability. Differences in absorption rates were not significant for slow- and fast-growing larvae, nor were differences in size-specific respiration rates. Metabolic processes accounted for the additional 50% of the energy "savings" required to explain enhanced growth rates. We propose that different protein depositional efficiencies could account for this energy saving. Quantitative analyses of the endogenous physiological factors that cause variation in growth rate will allow for a more sophisticated understanding of growth, survival and recruitment potential of larvae.

PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90