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July 1, 2014

United States

Hawaii—Polychaete Research at the Oceanic Institute


Researchers at Hawaii’s Oceanic Institute (OI) have collected several species of polychaetes (marine worms) from various locations around the island of Oahu to determine their potential as feeds for shrimp broodstock.  The species include Marphysa sanguinea, Lumbrineris japonica, Sabellastarte spectabilis, Malacoceros indicus, Chaetopterus variopedatu and Sipunculida spp.  At OI, 20% of them were screened for whitespot, Taura virus,  infectious hypodermal and hematopoietic necrosis virus, and the bacterium that causes early mortality syndrome.  In addition to the initial screening, a subsequent screening was performed on tissue from shrimp that were maintained in the effluent water from the polychaete culture vessels and/or on tissue from the cultured polychaetes.


The above species and some unidentified species have been successfully cultured at OI for over three weeks.  Lumbrineris japonica and the Sipunculida spp. have been cultured for over 90 days.  Gametes (eggs) were obtained from some of the polychaete species.  The OI researchers are currently developing methods for breeding and spawning polychaetes.  Four of the six candidate species have been screened for palatability to determine if shrimp broodstock would eat them.


One species, Marphysa sanguinea, appeared to be preferred by shrimp broodstock.  It is now the primary candidate for further study.  In the coming months, the researchers will develop methods for culturing this species and develop its nutrition profile to ensure that it provides adequate nutrition for shrimp broodstock.


Information: Cheng-Sheng Lee, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Center for Tropical and Subtropical Aquaculture (phone 1-808-259-3107).


Source: The Center for Tropical and Subtropical Aquaculture Newsletter.  CTSA Ongoing Projects: Midterm Updates/Aquaculture Potential of Hawaiian Polychaetes for Use as a Shrimp Maturation Feed.  Volume 6, Issue 6, June 17, 2014.

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