Biomass Composition of Blue Mussels, Mytilus edulis, is Affected by Living Site and Species of Ingested Microalgae

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We have investigated changes in specific contents of protein, glycogen and lipid, and fatty acids of blue mussels, Mytilus edulis, under different conditions in the field and in laboratory feeding experiments using different microalgae. Specific contents of glycogen and lipid increased in mussels relocated to net bags at a location in Kerteminde Bay (Great Belt, Denmark) in contrast to mussels relocated to a location in Sallingsund (Limfjorden, Denmark). The polyunsaturated fatty acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, reached 3 times higher values in the mussels in Kerteminde Bay. Mussels fed pure cultures of Crypthecodinium cohnii, which is rich in the polyunsaturated fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid, and glycogen, gained the highest specific contents of this fatty acid and glycogen. Mussels feeding on the most protein rich of the microalgae, Bracteacoccus sp., gained the highest protein contents. The specific glycogen content of the mussels was influenced by their “condition” (body dry weight/shell length ratio) while specific protein and lipid contents were not. Starvation affected mainly the specific glycogen content. These results show that biomass composition of blue mussels is affected by living site and local phytoplankton species and that the fatty acids composition of mussels reflects the content of fatty acids in the diet.
Original languageEnglish
Article number902152
JournalInternational Scholarly Research Notices: Zoology
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes