Consumption of sea lice by lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus): qPCR quantification and use of a non-destructive sampling method
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionAquaculture. 2019;500:640-644 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aquaculture.2018.11.004
In the present study, it was attempted to quantify sea lice grazing in lumpfish by using a recently published qPCR assay. This method utilizes a small aliquot (10 μL) of the stomach fluid of the lumpfish which can be collected using a sterile, 85 mm long pipette tip. We tested if repetitive sampling of stomach fluid influenced growth and survival in the sampled fish. The test lumpfish were sampled for stomach fluid at 6–16 days intervals for 95 days. No mortalities were recorded during the test period and there were no significant differences in growth compared to the control group. Quantification using the qPCR method was tested by two approaches; one with lumpfish that had grazed on sea lice ad libitum and the other with lumpfish that had been intubated with sea lice. The sea lice-specific qPCR assay had an inversely related relationship with the number of eaten lice, especially from stomach samples of lumpfish that naturally fed on sea lice as opposed to intubated fish.