Ocean acidification impedes gustation-mediated feeding behavior by disrupting gustatory signal transduction in the black sea bream, Acanthopagrus schlegelii

Highlights

  • Gustation-mediated feeding behavior of sea bream was significantly affected by OA.

  • Neurotransmitter levels and the expression of key genes were suppressed by OA.

  • OA hinders feeding of sea bream by obstructing gustatory signal transduction.

Abstract

Growing evidence suggests that ocean acidification (OA) may affect animal behaviors such as feeding. Although gustation plays a crucial role in evaluating the quality and palatability of food and ultimately influences whether or not teleosts consume the food, the potential impact of OA on gustation-mediated feeding behavior remains unknown. In this study, gustation mediated-feeding behavior, as indicated by the consumption rate (CR) and swallowing rate (SR) of agar pellets with or without feed upon OA exposure was investigated in black sea bream (Acanthopagrus schlegelii). Results showed that the exposure to acidified seawater led to significant reductions in the CR and SR of feed-containing agar pellets. In addition, the in vivo contents of three neurotransmitters and expression of genes from the gustatory signal transduction pathway were all significantly suppressed by the OA treatment. In general, the data obtained indicated that OA may hinder the gustation-mediated feeding behavior of A. schlegelii by disrupting gustatory signal transduction, which may aggravate the issue of food shortage for wild populations of black sea bream.

Rong J., Tang Y., Zha S., Han Y., Shi W. & Liu G., 2020. Ocean acidification impedes gustation-mediated feeding behavior by disrupting gustatory signal transduction in the black sea bream, Acanthopagrus schlegelii. Marine Environmental Research 162: 105182. Article (subscription required).

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