This study investigated the impact of spawning on metabolic and immunological responses in Pacific oysters Crassostrea gigas under food deprivation. Both pre- and post-spawning oysters were deprived of food for 80 days and then refed for 52 days. Overall mortality was less than 4%, but the condition index was significantly reduced by food deprivation and spawning. Mantle glycogen of post-spawning oysters was less than pre-spawning oysters and was further depleted with reduction of adductor glycogen during food deprivation. Under food deprivation, mantle and gill proteins in pre- and post-spawning oysters were also reduced and maintained at a low level until feeding recommenced. Pre-spawning oysters exhibited strong metabolic resilience to food deprivation as indicated by faster glycogen and protein recovery than post-spawning oysters upon refeeding. The results of hemocyte phagocytosis and hemolymph antimicrobial activity also demonstrated that post-spawning oysters had low immune resilience under food deprivation. This study indicates that food deprivation impedes metabolic and immunological activities in oysters, resulting in a prolonged post-spawning recovery and low metabolic and immune capacity. This finding contributes to our understanding of the factors contributing to oyster mortality in areas with low food supply.
Postprint of: Li, Y, Qin, JG, Li, X & Benkendorff, K 2009, 'Spawning-dependent stress response to food deprivation in Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas', Aquaculture, vol. 286, no. 3/4, pp. 309-317.
Publisher's version of this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aquaculture.2008.09.035