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Effects of training on functional variables of muscles in reared Atlantic salmon Salmo salar smolts: connection to downstream migration pattern

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The relative amount of muscle contraction regulating dihydropyridine and ryanodine receptors in the swimming muscles of trained reared Atlantic salmon Salmo salar smolts was compared with those of untrained and wild smolts. After an optimized 2 week training period, i.e. swimming with a velocity of 1·5 body lengths per second for 6 h per day, the level of both receptors was significantly higher in the muscles of trained S. salar than in the untrained ones before they were released into the natural environment. This difference persisted after downstream migration in the river. The highest level of receptors was observed in wild S. salar. Swimming performance was also higher in trained fish compared to untrained ones. Furthermore, swimming performance was positively associated with the level of receptors in both red and white muscle types. Downstream migration after release into the wild was significantly slower in trained smolts than in untrained fish. This indicates that trained smolts were most probably swimming harder against the current in the river than untrained smolts. The possible advantages for a slower migration in the river are discussed. This study shows that the prerequisites for effective contraction of the swimming muscles are better met in trained S. salar compared to untrained fish, and the muscles of trained smolts more closely resemble those of wild smolts. The results also imply that the capacity of untrained, reared smolts to swim against the current is not equal to that of their trained or wild counterparts which affects the downstream migration pattern of S. salar smolts.
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Keywords: dihydropyridine receptor; exercise; ryanodine receptor; swimming capacity

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute, Bothnian Bay Fisheries Research and Aquaculture, Laivurintie 6, FIN-94450 Keminmaa, Finland 2: Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute, Oulu Game and Fisheries Research, Tutkijantie 2 E, FIN-90570 Oulu, Finland 3: Department of Biology, University of Oulu, P. O. Box 3000, FIN-90014 Oulun yliopisto, Finland

Publication date: 2011-02-01

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