Skeletal and Pigmentation Defects following Retinoic Acid Exposure in Larval Summer Flounder, Paralichthys dentatus


Supplementation of larval diets with vitamin A (VA) is routinely and successfully used to stimulate pigmentation development in hatchery-reared flatfishes. However, excess dietary VA can lead to high levels of its metabolite retinoic acid (RA) and has been associated with the occurrence of skeletal deformities, presumably via RA toxicity. We reared summer flounder larvae, Paralichthys dentatus, in water containing 0- to 20-nM RA to assess its effects on postmetamorphic pigmentation and on skeletal development. RA exposure disrupted pigmentation development: treated tanks had a smaller percentage of normally pigmented fish than did controls, with increased numbers of both hypo- and hyperpigmented individuals. Exposure also affected the development of several skeletal features: RA treatment correlated with a significant increase in the severity of defects in jaws, fins, hypurals, and vertebrae compared with control groups.

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Journal of the World Aquaculture Society



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