Israeli Journal of Aquaculture - Bamidgeh, vol.69, 2017 (SCI-Expanded)
© 2017, Israeli Journal of Aquaculture - Bamidgeh. All rights reserved.Larval fish have a relatively poorly developed immune system and hence they primarily rely on non-specific immune responses produced in the skin and gut. This study aims to illustrate the fine structure of gut development in common dentex (Dentex dentex) larvae and determine the initiation of pinocytic activity, which is an important early non-specific immune response in fish intestines, during various live-food feeding stages (yeast enriched rotifer, Artemia nauplii and metanauplii) from hatching (D0) to 25 days after hatching (D25) by using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). A total of 54 larvae were sampled and examined with electron microscopy. The results show that hind-gut intestine enterocytes have morphological features which suggest they play a role in absorption and intracellular digestion of nutrients in fish. The presence of vigorous pinocytic activity in the Artemia feeding stage between 17-25 days after hatching is evidence for the development of a non-specific immune system. In the present study, the ultrastructural gut development of cultured common dentex was investigated for the first time and the data reported in this study may provide additional fundamental knowledge for improving larval rearing success in common dentex culture.