Metabolic scope, performance and tolerance of juvenile European sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax upon acclimation to high temperatures

Abstract
European sea bass is a species of great commercial value for fisheries and aquaculture. Rising temperatures may jeopardize the performance and survival of the species across its distribution and farming range, making the investigation of its thermal responses highly relevant. In this article, the metabolic scope, performance, and tolerance of juvenile E. sea bass reared under three high water temperatures (24, 28, 33°C), for a period of three months was evaluated via analysis of selected growth performance and physiological indicators. Effects on molecular, hormonal, and biochemical variables were analyzed along with effects of acclimation temperature on the metabolic rate and Critical Thermal maximum (CTmax). Despite signs of thermal stress at 28°C indicated by high plasma cortisol and lactate levels as well as the upregulation of genes coding for Heat Shock Proteins (HSP), E. sea bass can maintain high performance at that temperature which is encouraging for the species culture in the context of a warming ocean. Critical survivability thresholds appear sharply close to 33°C, where the aerobic capacity declines and the overall performance diminishes. European sea bass demonstrates appreciable capacity to cope with acute thermal stress exhibiting CTmax as high as 40°C for fish acclimated at high temperatures, which may indicate resilience to future heatwaves events.

Citation
Stavrakidis-Zachou, O., Lika, K., Pavlidis, M., Asaad, M. H., & Papandroulakis, N. (2022). Metabolic scope, performance and tolerance of juvenile European sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax upon acclimation to high temperatures. PLOS ONE, 17(8), e0272510. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0272510

Acknowledgements
This research was part of the Aquaculture Development Program managed by the Beacon Development Company (Agreement No. CW7724) with financial support from the Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture (MEWA). The support of Dr Athanasios Samaras with the physiological measurements and of Dr Aleka Tsalafouta, who provided the primers for the molecular analysis, at the Laboratory of Fish Physiology (Dept. Biology, University of Crete) is greatly acknowledged. Finally, we acknowledge the help of technical HCMR stuff members Panagiotis Anastasiadis and Nikos Mitrizakis in fish husbandry.

Publisher
Public Library of Science (PLoS)

Journal
PloS one

DOI
10.1371/journal.pone.0272510

PubMed ID
35960751

Additional Links
https://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0272510

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