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Effects of domestication on growth physiology and endocrinology of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

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Abstract:

Selection programs for fish frequently target growth rate as a breeding goal, yet surprisingly little is known about which mechanisms underlying the growth process are being targeted. The aim of this study was thus to examine whether the process of artificial selection of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) that has resulted in higher growth rate resulted in underlying changes in the growth hormone (GH) – insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) axis of endocrine growth regulation. This was tested by comparing similarly reared seventh-generation farm salmon with wild salmon from the principal founder population of the farm strain at three life stages. Not unexpectedly, the domesticated fish outgrew their wild counterparts; this was most evident in salt water, where they averaged three times the weight by the end. Pituitary GH content was positively correlated with growth rate and correspondingly was significantly higher in the faster growing domesticated fish than in the wild fish. Plasma GH levels were also significantly higher in the domesticated fish, whereas IGF-I levels did not differ. These findings provide some of the first direct evidence indicating a link between domestication selection for growth and its endocrine regulation, whereby individuals with more active endocrine growth regulatory components are targeted.

Les programmes de sélection des poissons ciblent souvent le taux de croissance comme objectif de la reproduction, bien que, de façon surprenante, on connaisse mal quels mécanismes sous-jacents de la croissance sont visés. L'objectif de notre étude est de voir si le processus de sélection artificielle du saumon de l'Atlantique (Salmo salar) qui a donné lieu à un taux de croissance accru a aussi apporté des changements sous-jacents dans l'axe GH–IGF-I (hormone de croissance – facteur de croissance analogue à l'insuline) de la régulation endocrine de la croissance. Le test implique une comparaison de poissons élevés dans des conditions semblables à trois stades de leur cycle, d'une part des saumons de pisciculture de septième génération et, d'autre part, des saumons sauvages provenant de la population fondatrice principale de la souche de pisciculture. Ce n'est pas inattendu que les poissons domestiqués croissent plus rapidement que les poissons sauvages et cela, particulièrement en eau salée où, à la fin de l'expérience, leur masse est en moyenne trois fois celle des poissons sauvages. Il y a une corrélation positive entre la concentration de GH pituitaire et le taux de croissance et, en conséquence, la concentration GH pituitaire est significativement plus élevée chez les poissons domestiqués à croissance rapide que chez les poissons sauvages. Les concentrations de GH plasmatique sont aussi significativement plus élevées chez les poissons domestiqués; en revanche, les concentrations de IGH-I sont semblables chez les deux groupes. Ces résultats fournissent une des premières preuves directes d'un lien entre la sélection en fonction de la croissance lors de la domestication et la régulation endocrine de la croissance, ce qui confirme que les individus qui possèdent des composantes plus actives de leur système régulateur hormonal de la croissance sont en fait ciblés.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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