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Effects of Maternal Nutrition on Fat Content and Longevity of Neonates of Daphnia magna

U. M. Cowgill, D. M. Williams and J. Benjamin Esquivel
Journal of Crustacean Biology
Vol. 4, No. 2 (May, 1984), pp. 173-190
Published by: on behalf of The Crustacean Society
DOI: 10.2307/1548014
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1548014
Page Count: 18
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Effects of Maternal Nutrition on Fat Content and Longevity of Neonates of Daphnia magna
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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to discover whether the longevity of neonates of Daphnia magna was determined by the nutrition of the adults that produced them. The nutritional status was measured in terms of fat stores of a random population that began with the neonate stage and was permitted to grow for 28 days. Five diets were compared in their effectiveness in sustaining neonates for limited periods of time in the absence of food. These diets consisted of two media, one organic and one inorganic, supplemented with a vitamin mix. These were used to culture two green algae: Selenastrum capricornutum and Ankistrodesmus convolutus. The fifth diet was fish chow and alfalfa meal. The best diet in terms of body size, amount of fat, and longevity of neonates was S. capricornutum cultured in an organic medium. Statistical analysis revealed that the quantity of daphnid fat is significantly related to (1) algal fat (P < 0.0001) gained from consuming the diet, (2) longevity of neonates (P < 0.0001), and (3) adult body size (P < 0.1). Histological preparation of adults representing each of the five diets showed unsaturated fat globules in the eggs and in the body cavity. There is a significant relationship between body size and unsaturated fat content. The animals maintained on a synthetic diet (fish chow and alfalfa meal) contained more fat than predicted by their body size. Partial correlation analysis revealed that five generations on this diet were not sufficient to remove the chemical effect of previous algal diets. This hysteresis effect was not observed in any of the algal fed organisms.

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