Table of Contents
ISRN Zoology
Volume 2012, Article ID 902152, 12 pages
Research Article

Biomass Composition of Blue Mussels, Mytilus edulis, is Affected by Living Site and Species of Ingested Microalgae

1Marine Biological Research Centre, University of Southern Denmark, Hindsholmvej 11, 5300 Kerteminde, Denmark
2Department of Biotechnology, Chemistry and Environmental Engineering, Aalborg University, Sohngaardsholmsvej 49, 9000 Aalborg, Denmark

Received 2 October 2012; Accepted 24 October 2012

Academic Editors: V. Tilgar and C. P. Wheater

Copyright © 2012 Daniel Pleissner et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We have investigated changes in specific contents of protein, glycogen and lipid, and fatty acids of blue mussels, Mytilus edulis, under different conditions in the field and in laboratory feeding experiments using different microalgae. Specific contents of glycogen and lipid increased in mussels relocated to net bags at a location in Kerteminde Bay (Great Belt, Denmark) in contrast to mussels relocated to a location in Sallingsund (Limfjorden, Denmark). The polyunsaturated fatty acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, reached 3 times higher values in the mussels in Kerteminde Bay. Mussels fed pure cultures of Crypthecodinium cohnii, which is rich in the polyunsaturated fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid, and glycogen, gained the highest specific contents of this fatty acid and glycogen. Mussels feeding on the most protein rich of the microalgae, Bracteacoccus sp., gained the highest protein contents. The specific glycogen content of the mussels was influenced by their “condition” (body dry weight/shell length ratio) while specific protein and lipid contents were not. Starvation affected mainly the specific glycogen content. These results show that biomass composition of blue mussels is affected by living site and local phytoplankton species and that the fatty acids composition of mussels reflects the content of fatty acids in the diet.