Variations in digestive enzyme activity during larval development of cultured Pacific red snapper Lutjanus peru

Renato Peña, Dariel Tovar-Ramírez, Mauricio Contreras-Olguín, Patricia Hinojosa-Baltazar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the present study, the digestive enzyme activity during larval development in L. peru reared under intensive culture conditions was evaluated. The results revealed that L. peru larvae have the necessary enzymes to digest proteins, lipids and carbohydrates when nutritional reserves have been depleted at the onset of the exogenous feeding at 3 days after hatching (DAH) or 78 degree-days (DD). The activities of the digestive enzymes follow patterns similar to those previously reported in other related species. As in other marine fish larvae, the amylase specific activity decreased during larval development of L. peru. At 25 DAH (650 DD), the specific activities of lipase, alkaline phosphatase and acid phosphatase declined, while the specific activities of pepsin, trypsin and chymotrypsin increased. In contrast, the individual activity of all enzymes steadily increased with development. The time required to reach the maximum activity varies, suggesting a relative importance of different digestive enzymes during the different developmental stages of the digestive tract. In our study, the highest activity was reached by amylase at Stage I and early Stage II (3–11 DAH or 78–286 DD), by lipase and both acid and alkaline phosphatases at the end of Stage II (18–22 DAH or 468–572 DD), and by trypsin, chymotrypsin and acid protease at Stage III (25 DAH or 650 DD). This study provides new data on the digestive physiology of larval L. peru that are particularly pertinent to early weaning and nutritional physiology, and that may be useful in the larval culture of this species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4538-4549
Number of pages12
JournalAquaculture Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • digestive physiology
  • larval development
  • larviculture
  • Lutjanus peru
  • Pacific red snapper


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