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Elevated ability to compete for limited food resources by ‘all-fish’ growth hormone transgenic common carp Cyprinus carpio

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Food consumption, number of movements and feeding hierarchy of juvenile transgenic common carp Cyprinus carpio and their size-matched non-transgenic conspecifics were measured under conditions of limited food supply. Transgenic fish exhibited 73·3% more movements as well as a higher feeding order, and consumed 1·86 times as many food pellets as their non-transgenic counterparts. After the 10 day experiment, transgenic C. carpio had still not realized their higher growth potential, which may be partly explained by the higher frequency of movements of transgenics and the ‘sneaky’ feeding strategy used by the non-transgenics. The results indicate that these transgenic fish possess an elevated ability to compete for limited food resources, which could be advantageous after an escape into the wild. It may be that other factors in the natural environment (i.e. predation risk and food distribution), however, would offset this advantage. Thus, these results need to be assessed with caution.
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Keywords: competition; foraging; growth hormone (GH); transgene

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072, China 2: Department of Fisheries and Oceans, University of British Columbia, Centre for Aquaculture and Environmental Research, 4160 Marine Drive, West Vancouver, British Colombia V7V 1N6, Canada

Publication date: 2009-10-01

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