Effects of local Polynesian plants and algae on growth and expression of two immune-related genes in orbicular batfish (Platax orbicularis)

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The emerging orbicular batfish (Platax orbicularis) aquaculture is the most important fish aquaculture industry in French Polynesia. However, bacterial infections are causing severe mortality episodes. Therefore, there is an urgent need to find an effective management solution. Besides the supplying difficulty and high costs of veterinary drugs in French Polynesia, batfish aquaculture takes place close to the coral reef, where use of synthetic persistent drugs should be restricted. Medicinal plants and bioactive algae are emerging as a cheaper and more sustainable alternative to chemical drugs. We have studied the effect of local Polynesian plants and the local opportunistic algae Asparagopsis taxiformis on batfish when orally administered. Weight gain and expression of two immune-related genes (lysozyme g – Lys G and transforming growth factor beta - TGF-β1) were studied to analyze immunostimulant activity of plants on P. orbicularis. Results showed that several plants increased Lys G and TGF-β1 expression on orbicular batfish after 2 and 3 weeks of oral administration. A. taxiformis was the plant displaying the most promising results, promoting a weight gain of 24% after 3 weeks of oral administration and significantly increasing the relative amount of both Lys G and TGF-β1 transcripts in kidney and spleen of P. orbicularis.

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