Black Amur bream (Megalobrama terminalis) is an economically important indigenous species that dominates the fish community in the lower reaches of the Pearl river. We used small subunit ribosomal DNA (18S rDNA) sequencing to assess the intestinal contents of black Amur bream at four independent developmental stages (stages II, III, IV, and V). This represents a new approach to the analysis of fish diets in the field. The results showed that Eunicida, Tubificina, unclassified Demospongiae, unclassified Insecta, unclassified Hexactinellida, unclassified Bivalvia and Monogononta constitute the predominant primary food sources of black Amur bream. Interestingly, a shift in the diet of black Amur bream was observed upon the fish reaching a standard length of around 225 ± 19.3 mm during gonad development from stage III to IV. A reduction in the consumption of Demospongiae and Rotifera, and an increase in the consumption of Annelida (mostly Eunicida) and Tubificina, were observed. Stage III in the developmental process is a transition phase in relation to dietary shift, which exhibits the food preferences both of juveniles and adults. We also observed that food items that were detected in the foregut were also present in the hindgut, indicating that 18S rDNA amplification of fecal matter could be used for dietary analysis in fish in the field.
Fisheries Science – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 16, 2017
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