Use of the copepod Oithona hebes as a bioencapsulator of essential fatty acids


  • Marcia Vanacor Barroso Instituto Capixaba de Pesquisa, Assistência Técnica e Extensão Rural
  • Breno Barroso Boos Universidade do Vale do Itajaí
  • Rosemar Antoniassi Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária
  • Luiz Fernando Loureiro Fernandes Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo



The advantages of using copepods in aquaculture include nutritional superiority, high digestibility and broad spectrum of sizes, with the possibility of bioencapsulation of nutrients, probiotics and medicines. This study aimed to compare the effects of feeding copepods with a microalgae diet and two commercial inert diets on the copepod culture performance and their fatty acid profile. Wild copepods were collected in the estuarine system of Piraquê-açu River, Aracruz, Espírito Santo, Brazil, with a conical net of 60 cm in diameter and 200 μm mesh with a blind cup end, towed through the subsurface layer at a speed of 1 knot for 5 minutes. Once collected, the material was sieved in order to select only Oithona hebes. The experiment was conducted in nine cylindrical-conical tanks with a 60 L capacity, salinity of 25.8 ± 1.3, temperature of 25.5 ± 0.5 ºC and weak aeration, stocked with a density of 1.5 copepod/mL. Treatments were made in triplicate and consisted of: Treatment 1 (Control) fed with microalgae Chaetoceros gracilis and Nannochloropsis oculata (1:1) with 50,000 cells.mL-1each; Treatment 2 with S.Parkle® INVE (1g.million-1); and Treatment 3 with freeze-dried spirulina (1g.million-1). The mean final population was compared by a Tukey test (p < 0.05). Results showed higher population growth for copepods treated with S.parkle, which was the only treatment that presented copepodites. S.parkle was a good source of total lipids (9.54 g.100g-1 dry weight), high availability of DHA, EPA and had a good DHA:EPA:ARA ratio of 12.4:3.4:1.0. Copepods that were fed S.parkle had the highest DHA levels and a DHA:EPA:ARA ratio of 15.4:2.2:1.0. This study showed that S.parkle is a good inert food for rearing the copepod O. hebes, demonstrating the ability of copepods to bioencapsulate nutrients, allowing their transfer in the food chain.


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How to Cite

Barroso, M. V., Boos, B. B., Antoniassi, R., & Fernandes, L. F. L. (2015). Use of the copepod Oithona hebes as a bioencapsulator of essential fatty acids . Brazilian Journal of Oceanography, 63(3), 331-336.



Original Article