Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Rainbow trout


The freshwater bryozoan Fredericella sultana (Blumenbach) is the most common invertebrate host of the myxozoan parasite Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae, the causative agent of proliferative kidney disease in salmonid fish. Culture media play an important role in hatching of statoblasts and maintaining clean bryozoan colonies for Malacosporea research. We developed a novel culture medium, Bryozoan Medium C (BMC), for the cultivation and maintenance of F. sultana under laboratory conditions. Statoblasts of F. sultana were successfully hatched to produce transparent-walled, specific pathogen-free (SPF) colonies that were maintained >12 months in BMC at pH 6.65. Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae was successfully transmitted from infected brown trout, Salmo trutta L., to newly hatched F. sultana colonies in BMC, then from the infected bryozoan to SPF brown trout. This study demonstrated the utility of BMC (pH 6.65) for hatching statoblasts, long-term cultivation of clean and transparent bryozoan colonies and maintenance of the Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae life cycle in the laboratory for molecular genetic research and other studies such as host-parasiteinteraction.

Concepts: Fish, Salmo, Rainbow trout, Brown trout, Brook trout, Myxozoa, Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae, Myxobolus cerebralis


Early juvenile growth is a good indicator of growth later in life in many species because larger than average juveniles tend to have a competitive advantage. However, for migratory species the relationship between juvenile and adult growth remains obscure. We used scale analysis to reconstruct growth trajectories of migratory sea trout (Salmo trutta) from six neighbouring populations, and compared the size individuals attained in freshwater (before migration) with their subsequent growth at sea (after migration). We also calculated the coefficient of variation (CV) to examine how much body size varied across populations and life stages. Specifically, we tested the hypothesis that the CV on body size would differ between freshwater and marine environment, perhaps reflecting different trade-offs during ontogeny. Neighbouring sea trout populations differed significantly in time spent at sea and in age-adjusted size of returning adults, but not on size of seaward migration, which was surprisingly uniform and may be indicative of strong selection pressures. The CV on body size decreased significantly over time and was highest during the first 8 months of life (when juvenile mortality is highest) and lowest during the marine phase. Size attained in freshwater was negatively related to growth during the first marine growing season, suggesting the existence of compensatory growth, whereby individuals that grow poorly in freshwater are able to catch up later at sea. Analysis of 61 datasets indicates that negative or no associations between pre- and post-migratory growth are common amongst migratory salmonids. We suggest that despite a widespread selective advantage of large body size in freshwater, freshwater growth is a poor predictor of final body size amongst migratory fish because selection may favour growth heterochrony during transitions to a novel environment, and marine compensatory growth may negate any initial size advantage acquired in freshwater.

Concepts: Natural selection, Fish, Oceanography, Ocean, Salmo, Rainbow trout, Brown trout, Brook trout


Enteric redmouth disease (ERM), caused by Yersinia ruckeri, is among the most important infectious diseases in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss aquaculture in Europe. Our aim was to analyse the persistence of Y. ruckeri strains in trout farms in northwest Germany and their dissemination between farms based on a detailed molecular and phenotypical characterisation scheme. The data on identification and characterisation of Y. ruckeri strains and examining the distribution of these strains in the field could serve as a basis for preventive disease monitoring plans. During the observation period from June 2011 until June 2012, we collected 48 Y. ruckeri isolates from 12 different rainbow trout hatcheries. In total, 44 (91.7%) of the isolates were non-motile; in particular, all isolates recovered during the sampling period in winter and early spring were non-motile. In several trout farms, characteristic farm-specific Y. ruckeri isolates from particular typing groups were isolated throughout the year, while in other farms, which had a trading relationship between each other, ERM outbreaks were caused by Y. ruckeri from the same typing group. Our data indicate that in some farms, the causative Y. ruckeri strains persisted in the respective trout farm. The presence of Y. ruckeri from the same typing group in farms with a trading relationship indicates a dissemination of the infection between the farms.

Concepts: Infectious disease, Infection, Salmon, Oncorhynchus, Salmonidae, Rainbow trout, Cutthroat trout, Enteric redmouth disease


Diet implementation with insect meal arouses increased attention in aquaculture considering the advantages of this new protein source. The effect of Hermetia illucens meal (HI) inclusion in diets on rainbow trout physical-chemical and sensory properties was evaluated. Three diets were prepared: HI0, HI25, HI50, with 0, 25 and 50% of HI replacing fish meal, respectively. Fillet sensory profiles were described by descriptive analysis (DA) and Temporal Dominance of Sensation (TDS) methods. Cooking Loss, WB-Shear Force, proximate analysis, fatty acid composition were also determined.

Concepts: Nutrition, Fatty acid, Salmon, Oncorhynchus, Salmonidae, Aquaculture, Rainbow trout, Cutthroat trout


Marijuana (Cannabis sativa L.) cultivation has proliferated in northwestern California since at least the mid-1990s. The environmental impacts associated with marijuana cultivation appear substantial, yet have been difficult to quantify, in part because cultivation is clandestine and often occurs on private property. To evaluate the impacts of water diversions at a watershed scale, we interpreted high-resolution aerial imagery to estimate the number of marijuana plants being cultivated in four watersheds in northwestern California, USA. Low-altitude aircraft flights and search warrants executed with law enforcement at cultivation sites in the region helped to validate assumptions used in aerial imagery interpretation. We estimated the water demand of marijuana irrigation and the potential effects water diversions could have on stream flow in the study watersheds. Our results indicate that water demand for marijuana cultivation has the potential to divert substantial portions of streamflow in the study watersheds, with an estimated flow reduction of up to 23% of the annual seven-day low flow in the least impacted of the study watersheds. Estimates from the other study watersheds indicate that water demand for marijuana cultivation exceeds streamflow during the low-flow period. In the most impacted study watersheds, diminished streamflow is likely to have lethal or sub-lethal effects on state-and federally-listed salmon and steelhead trout and to cause further decline of sensitive amphibian species.

Concepts: Water, Hydrology, Salmon, Cannabis, Hemp, Rainbow trout, Cannabis sativa


Beaver have been referred to as ecosystem engineers because of the large impacts their dam building activities have on the landscape; however, the benefits they may provide to fluvial fish species has been debated. We conducted a watershed-scale experiment to test how increasing beaver dam and colony persistence in a highly degraded incised stream affects the freshwater production of steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Following the installation of beaver dam analogs (BDAs), we observed significant increases in the density, survival, and production of juvenile steelhead without impacting upstream and downstream migrations. The steelhead response occurred as the quantity and complexity of their habitat increased. This study is the first large-scale experiment to quantify the benefits of beavers and BDAs to a fish population and its habitat. Beaver mediated restoration may be a viable and efficient strategy to recover ecosystem function of previously incised streams and to increase the production of imperiled fish populations.

Concepts: River, Salmon, Oncorhynchus, Beaver, Dam, Rainbow trout, Golden trout, Brown trout


Interspecific hybridization is a route for transgenes from genetically modified (GM) animals to invade wild populations, yet the ecological effects and potential risks that may emerge from such hybridization are unknown. Through experimental crosses, we demonstrate transmission of a growth hormone transgene via hybridization between a candidate for commercial aquaculture production, GM Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and closely related wild brown trout (Salmo trutta). Transgenic hybrids were viable and grew more rapidly than transgenic salmon and other non-transgenic crosses in hatchery-like conditions. In stream mesocosms designed to more closely emulate natural conditions, transgenic hybrids appeared to express competitive dominance and suppressed the growth of transgenic and non-transgenic (wild-type) salmon by 82 and 54 per cent, respectively. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of environmental impacts of hybridization between a GM animal and a closely related species. These results provide empirical evidence of the first steps towards introgression of foreign transgenes into the genomes of new species and contribute to the growing evidence that transgenic animals have complex and context-specific interactions with wild populations. We suggest that interspecific hybridization be explicitly considered when assessing the environmental consequences should transgenic animals escape to nature.

Concepts: Fish, Salmon, Aquaculture, Atlantic salmon, Salmo, Rainbow trout, Trout, Brown trout


Sequence divergence was evaluated in the non-recombining, male-specific OmyY1 region of the Y chromosome among the subspecies of cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii) in the western United States. This evaluation identified subspecies-discriminating OmyY1-haplotypes within a ∼1200bp region of the OmyY1 locus and localized the region to the end of the Y chromosome by FISH analysis. OmyY1 sequences were aligned and used to reconstruct a phylogeny of the cutthroat trout subspecies and related species via maximum-parsimony and Bayesian analyses. In the Y-haplotype phylogeny, clade distributions generally corresponded to the geographic distributions of the recognized subspecies. This phylogeny generally corresponded to a mitochondrial tree obtained for these subspecies in a previous study. Both support a clade of trout vs. Pacific salmon, of rainbow trout, and of a Yellowstone cutthroat group within the cutthroat trout. In our OmyY1 tree, however, the cutthroat “clade”, although present topologically, was not statistically significant. Some key differences were found between trees obtained from the paternally-inherited OmyY1 vs. maternally-inherited mitochondrial haplotypes in cutthroat trout compared to rainbow trout. Other findings are: The trout OmyY1 region evolves between 3 and 13 times slower than the trout mitochondrial regions that have been studied. The Lahontan cutthroat trout had a fixed OmyY1 sequence throughout ten separate populations, suggesting this subspecies underwent a severe population bottleneck prior to its current dispersal throughout the Great Basin during the pluvial phase of the last ice age. The Yellowstone group is the most derived among the cutthroat trout and consists of the Yellowstone, Bonneville, Colorado, Rio Grande and greenback subspecies. Identification of subspecies and sex with this Y-chromosome marker may prove useful in conservation efforts.

Concepts: Salmon, Oncorhynchus, Salmonidae, Rainbow trout, Cutthroat trout, Yellowstone cutthroat trout, Lahontan cutthroat trout, Greenback cutthroat trout


The conservation of endangered fish is of critical importance. Cryobanking could provide an effective backup measure for use in conjunction with the conservation of natural populations; however, methodology for cryopreservation of fish eggs and embryos has not yet been developed. The present study established a methodology capable of deriving functional eggs and sperm from frozen type A spermatogonia (ASGs). Whole testes taken from rainbow trout were slowly frozen in a cryomedium, and the viability of ASGs within these testes did not decrease over a 728-d freezing period. Frozen-thawed ASGs that were intraperitoneally transplanted into sterile triploid hatchlings migrated toward, and were incorporated into, recipient genital ridges. Transplantability of ASGs did not decrease after as much as 939 d of cryopreservation. Nearly half of triploid recipients produced functional eggs or sperm derived from the frozen ASGs and displayed high fecundity. Fertilization of resultant gametes resulted in the successful production of normal, frozen ASG-derived offspring. Feasibility and simplicity of this methodology will call for an immediate application for real conservation of endangered wild salmonids.

Concepts: Salmon, Salmonidae, Rainbow trout, Freezing, Cryobiology, Cryopreservation, Cryoprotectant, Ex-situ conservation


Myxobolus cerebralis is a microscopic metazoan parasite (Phylum Myxozoa: Myxosporea) associated with salmonid whirling disease. There are currently no vaccines to minimise the serious negative economical and ecological impacts of whirling disease among populations of salmonid fish worldwide. UV irradiation has been shown to effectively inactivate the waterborne infective stages or triactinomyxons of M. cerbralis in experimental and hatchery settings but the mechanisms by which the parasite is compromised are unknown. Treatments of triactinomyxons with UV irradiation at doses from 10 to 80 mJ/cm(2) either prevented (20-80 mJ/cm(2)) or significantly inhibited (10 mJ/cm(2)) completion of the parasite life cycle in experimentally exposed juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). However, even the highest doses of UV irradiation examined (80 mJ/cm(2)) did not prevent key steps in the initiation of parasite infection, including attachment and penetration of the epidermis of juvenile rainbow trout as demonstrated by scanning electron and light microscopy. Furthermore, replication of UV-treated parasites within the first 24h following invasion of the caudal fin was suggested by the detection of concentrations of parasite DNA by quantitative PCR comparable to that among fish exposed to an equal concentration of untreated triactinomyxons. Subsequent development of parasites treated with an 80 mJ/cm(2) dose of UV irradiation however, was impaired as demonstrated by the decline and then lack of detection of parasite DNA; a trend beginning at 10 days and continuing thereafter until the end of the study at 46 days post parasite exposure. Treatments of triactinomyxons with a lower dose of UV irradiation (20 mJ/cm(2)) resulted in a more prolonged survival with parasite DNA detected, although at very low concentrations, in fish up to 49 days post parasite exposure. The successful invasion but only short-term survival of parasites treated with UV in rainbow trout resulted in a protective response to challenges with fully infective triactinomyxons. Prior treatments of juvenile rainbow trout with UV-treated triactinomyxons (10 and 20 mJ/cm(2)) resulted in a reduced prevalence of infection and significantly lower concentrations of cranial myxospores (two direct measures of the severity of whirling disease) compared with trout receiving no prior treatments when assessed 5 months post parasite exposure to fully infective triactinomyxons.

Concepts: Salmon, Oncorhynchus, Salmonidae, Rainbow trout, Cutthroat trout, Myxozoa, Myxobolus cerebralis, Myxosporea