Using zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a case study, we show that the maturity concept of Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) theory is a useful metric for developmental state. Maturity does not depend on food or temperature contrary to age and to some extent length. We compile the maturity levels for each developmental milestone recorded in staging atlases. The analysis of feeding, growth, reproduction and aging patterns throughout the embryo, juvenile and adult life stages are well-captured by a simple extension of the standard DEB model and reveals that embryo development is slow relative to adults. A threefold acceleration of development occurs during the larval period. Moreover we demonstrate that growth and reproduction depend on food in predictable ways and their simultaneous observation is necessary to estimate parameters. We used data on diverse aspects of the energy budget simultaneously for parameter estimation using the covariation method. The lowest mean food intake level to initiate reproduction was found to be as high as 0.6 times the maximum level. The digestion efficiency for Tetramin™ was around 0.5, growth efficiency was just 0.7 and the value for the allocation fraction to soma (0.44) was close to the one that maximizes ultimate reproduction. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.
|Journal||Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A. Molecular and Integrative Physiology|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|