John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Arachidonic acid enhances reproduction in Daphnia magna and mitigates changes in sex ratios induced by pyriproxyfen

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Arachidonic acid (AA) is one of only two unsaturated fatty acids retained in the ovaries of crustaceans, and an inhibitor of HR97g, a nuclear receptor expressed in adult ovaries. We hypothesized that as a key fatty acid, AA may be associated with reproduction and potentially environmental sex determination in Daphnia. Reproduction assays with AA indicate that it alters female/male sex ratios by increasing female production. This reproductive effect only occurred during a restricted P. subcapitata diet. Next, we tested whether enriching a poorer algal diet (C. vulgaris) with AA enhances overall reproduction and sex ratios. AA enrichment of a C. vulgaris diet also enhances fecundity at 1.0 and 4.0 μM by 30‐40% in the presence and absence of pyriproxyfen. This indicates that AA is crucial in reproduction regardless of environmental sex determination. Furthermore, our data indicates that P. subcapitata may provide a threshold concentration of AA needed for reproduction. Diet switch experiments from P. subcapitata to C. vulgaris mitigate some but not all of AA's effects when compared to a C. vulgaris only diet, suggesting that some AA provided by P. subcapitata is retained. In summary, AA supplementation increases reproduction and represses pyriproxyfen‐induced environmental sex determination in D. magna in restricted diets. A diet rich in AA may provide protection from some reproductive toxicants such as the juvenile hormone agonist, pyriproxyfen. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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