To establish the changes which occur during embryogenesis and early larvae development, eggs, yolk-sac larvae (one day old larvae) and absorbed yolk-sac larvae (three day old larvae) of white sea bream were examined for lipid class and fatty acid composition. The development was characterized by a decrease in all lipid classes with the exception of phosphatidylserine (PS) and fatty free acids (FFA) which increased, and sphingomyelin (SM) which remained unchanged. The changes observed in lipid class content and the decrease in fatty acids in total lipid (TL) reflect the utilization and mobilization of lipids during both embryogenesis and early larvae development. Fluctuations in the relative composition of fatty acids in phosphatidylcholine (PC) during development suggest a selective bulk uptake and catabolism of fatty acids in this lipid class. Unlike PC, catabolism of triacylglycerol (TG) fatty acid appears to be non-selective. During development, the decrease in levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) eicosapentaenoic (20:5n 3, EPA) and docosahexaenoic (22:6n 3, DHA) in total lipid denotes their utilization as energy substrate by Diplodus sargus larvae.
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