Effects of dietary vitamin C on survival, growth, and immunity of large yellow croaker, Pseudosciaena crocea

Qinghui Ai, Kangsen Mai, Beiping Tan, Wei Xu, Wenbing Zhang, Hongming Ma, Zhiguo Liufu

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181 Scopus citations


An 8 weeks growth experiment was conducted to determine the effects of dietary vitamin C on the survival, growth, tissue ascorbic acid contents and immunity of large yellow croaker (Pseudosciaena crocea) with initial weight of 17.82 ± 0.68 g. Seven practical diets were formulated to contain 0.1, 12.2, 23.8, 47.6, 89.7, 188.5 and 489.0 mg ascorbic acid equivalent kg- 1 diet, supplied as l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (LAPP). Each diet was fed to triplicate groups of fish in seawater floating cages (1.5 × 1.5 × 2.0 m), and each cage was stocked with 120 fish. Fish were fed twice daily (05:00 and 17:00) to apparent satiation for 8 weeks. The water temperature fluctuated from 19.5 to 25.5 °C, the salinity from 25 to 28‰ and dissolved oxygen content was approximately 7 mg l- 1 during the experimental period. Results showed that the specific growth rate (SGR) (from 1.80 to 1.96% d- 1) had an increasing trend with the increase of dietary vitamin C, but no significant difference was observed among dietary treatments. No gross deficiency signs were observed in any of the experimental fish. Survival rate, however, significantly increased with increasing dietary vitamin C (P < 0.05). The vitamin C contents in liver and muscle correlated positively with the vitamin C in diets. The vitamin C requirement was estimated to be 28.2 mg kg- 1 based on survival, and 87.0 mg kg- 1 on liver content of vitamin C. The activities of serum lysozyme and alternative complement pathway (ACP), phagocytosis percentage (PP) and respiratory burst activity of head kidney significantly increased with increasing dietary vitamin C. The challenge experiment with Vibrio harveyi showed that fish fed the diets with supplementation of vitamin C had significantly lower cumulative mortality compared to the control group (66.7%), and the cumulative mortality (16.7%) in fish with 489.0 mg kg- 1 ascorbic acid was significantly lower than that (41.7%) in fish with 23.8 mg kg- 1 ascorbic acid. These results suggested that vitamin C significantly influenced the immune response and disease resistance of large yellow croaker.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-336
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 16 2006


  • Immunity
  • Large yellow croaker
  • Nutritional immunity
  • Pseudosciaena crocea
  • Survival
  • Vitamin C requirement


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