Functional Importance of Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and Thraustochytrids in Fish Reproduction

Project: Research

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Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an essential polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) known to be important in maintaining membrane fluidity and neural development in animals. Gut content analysis of mudskippers however, revealed that their diet predominantly consists of diatoms, but DHA levels in diatoms are either very low or absent. On the other hand, thraustochytrids (marine protists) are abundant on decaying mangrove leaves and sediments, and they can synthesize large quantities of DHA. It is highly probable that thraustochytrids is an important dietary source of DHA for the mangrove mudskippers. Their importance might have been grossly underestimated in the gut content analysis due to the high digestibility of thraustochytrids. This project thus aims to examine the link between thraustochytrids, DHA and reproduction of mudskippers. Experiments will be designed to answer two important research questions:Does DHA play a significant role in reproduction of mudskippers?Are thraustochytrids an important dietary source of DHA for mudskippers?


Project number9041188
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/12/0624/02/10