Immunostimulatory effects of different aspects of aquaculture on the host response in the edible sea urchin, paracentrotus lividus

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Cipriano-Maack, Ashley N.
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University College Cork
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Aquaculture is a fast-growing industry contributing to global food security and sustainable aquaculture, which may reduce pressures on capture fisheries. The overall objective of this thesis was to look at the immunostimulatory effects of different aspects of aquaculture on the host response of the edible sea urchin, Paracentrotus lividus, which are a prized delicacy (roe) in many Asian and Mediterranean countries. In Chapter 1, the importance of understanding the biology, ecology, and physiology of P. lividus, as well as the current status in the culture of this organism for mass production and introducing the thesis objectives for following chapters is discussed. As the research commenced, the difficulties of identifying individuals for repeat sampling became clear; therefore, Chapter 2 was a tagging experiment that indicated PIT tagging was a successful way of identifying individual sea urchins over time with a high tag retention rate. However, it was also found that repeat sampling via syringe to measure host response of an individual caused stress which masked results and thus animals would be sampled and sacrificed going forward. Additionally, from personal observations and discussion with peers, it was suggested to look at the effect that diet has on sea urchin immune function and the parameters I measured which led to Chapter 3. In this chapter, both Laminaria digitata and Mytilus edulis were shown to influence measured immune parameters of differential cell counts, nitric oxide production, and lysozyme activity. Therefore, trials commencing after Trial 5 in Chapter 4, were modified to include starvation in order to remove any effect of diet. Another important aspect of culturing any organism is the study of their immune function and its response to several immunostimulatory agents (Chapter 4). Zymosan A was shown to be an effective immunostimulatory agent in P. lividus. Further work on handled/stored animals (Chapter 5) showed Zymosan A reduced the measured levels of some immune parameters measured relative to the control, which may reduce the amount of stress in the animals. In Chapter 6, animals were infected with Vibrio anguillarum and, although V. anguillarum, impacted immune parameters of P. lividus, it did not cause mortality as predicted. Lastly, throughout this thesis work, it was noted that the immune parameters measured produced different values at different times of the year (Chapter 7); therefore, using collated baseline (control) data, results were compiled to observe seasonal effects. It was determined that both seasonality and sourcing sites influenced immune parameter measurements taken at different times throughout the year. In conclusion, this thesis work fits into the framework of development of aquaculture practices that affect immune function of the host and future research focusing on the edible sea urchin, P. lividus.
Sea urchins , Paracentrotus lividus , Immunostimulants , Zymosan A , Handling and simulated storage , Seasonality and site , PIT tagging , Laminaria digitata , Vibrio anguillarum , Lysozyme activity , Nitric oxide , Cell viability , Differential cell counts
Cipriano-Maack, A. N. 2016. Immunostimulatory effects of different aspects of aquaculture on the host response in the edible sea urchin, paracentrotus lividus. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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