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Concept: Salmo


Recent research has identified genetic groups of Atlantic salmon Salmo salar that show association with geological and environmental boundaries. This study focuses on one particular subgroup of the species inhabiting the chalk streams of southern England, U.K. These fish are genetically distinct from other British and European S. salar populations and have previously demonstrated markedly low admixture with populations in neighbouring regions. The genetic population structure of S. salar occupying five chalk streams was explored using 16 microsatellite loci. The analysis provides evidence of the genetic distinctiveness of chalk-stream S. salar in southern England, in comparison with populations from non-chalk regions elsewhere in western Europe. Little genetic differentiation exists between the chalk-stream populations and a pattern of isolation by distance was evident. Furthermore, evidence of temporal stability of S. salar populations across the five chalk streams was found. This work provides new insights into the temporal stability and lack of genetic population sub-structuring within a unique component of the species' range of S. salar.

Concepts: Biology, United Kingdom, Europe, Salmon, Population genetics, Atlantic salmon, Salmo, Charles Darwin


Infectious salmon anaemia (ISA), caused by ISA virus (ISAV), is a serious disease of farmed Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L. Recently, molecular- and immunofluorescent-based techniques have become powerful diagnostic tools for ISAV detection, but culture-based techniques remain the gold standard. A disadvantage of ISAV culture is that the incubation time required before cytopathic effect (CPE) is observed in cell monolayers. To decrease time until CPE is observed, a low-speed centrifugation technique was applied to existing standard operating procedures for ISAV culture in three fish cell lines. Time until CPE observation was compared in CHSE, SHK and ASK cells, treated or not treated with low-speed centrifugation after inoculation with ISAV. Low-speed centrifugation treatment significantly enhanced observable cell infection. Compared to control cells, the length of time until ISAV CPE observation decreased in centrifuged ASK and CHSE cells. Low-speed centrifugation was also incorporated into a modified clinical shell vial assay. At 48 h post-inoculation with approximately 20 viral particles, ISAV was detected by an immunofluorescence antibody test in treated ASK and SHK1 cells but not in control cells. Finally, this enhanced viral adsorption assay performed in ASK cells demonstrated higher sensitivity than a real-time RT-PCR assay performed on RNA isolated from ISAV-spiked salmon kidney homogenates.

Concepts: DNA, Observation, Salmon, Virology, Aquaculture, Atlantic salmon, Salmo, Viral culture


Emamectin benzoate (an avermectin chemotherapeutant administered to fish as an in-feed treatment) has been used to treat infestations of sea lice Lepeophtheirus salmonis on farmed Atlantic salmon Salmo salar in the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, Canada, since 1999. This retrospective study examined the effectiveness of 114 emamectin benzoate treatment episodes from 2004 to 2008 across 54 farms. Study objectives were to establish whether changes in the effectiveness of emamectin benzoate were present for this period, examine factors associated with treatment outcome, and determine variables that influenced differences in L. salmonis abundance after treatment. The analysis was carried out in 2 parts: first, trends in treatment effectiveness and L. salmonis abundance were explored, and second, statistical modelling (linear and logistic regression) was used to examine the effects of multiple variables on post-treatment abundance and treatment outcome. Post-treatment sea lice abundance increased in the later years examined. Mean abundance differed between locations in the Bay of Fundy, and higher numbers were found at farms closer to the mainland and lower levels were found in the areas around Grand Manan Island. Treatment effectiveness varied by geographical region and decreased over time. There was an increased risk for unsuccessful treatments in 2008, and treatments applied during autumn months were more likely to be ineffective than those applied during summer months.

Concepts: Salmon, New Brunswick, Atlantic salmon, Moncton, Salmo, Bay of Fundy, Maritimes, Nova Scotia


We show how spatial variability in channel bed morphology affects the hydraulic characteristics of river reaches available to Atlantic salmon parr (Salmo salar) under different flow conditions in an upland stream. The study stream, the Girnock Burn, is a long-term monitoring site in the Scottish Highlands. Six site characterised by different bed geometry and morphology were investigated. Detailed site bathymetries were collected and combined with discharge time series in a 2D hydraulic model to obtain spatially distributed depth-averaged velocities under different flow conditions. Available habitat (AH) was estimated for each site. Stream discharge was used according to the critical displacement velocity (CDV) approach. CDV defines a velocity threshold above which salmon parr are not able to hold station and effective feeding opportunities or habitat utilization are reduced, depending on fish size and water temperature. An average value of the relative available habitat () for the most significant period for parr growth - April to May - was used for inter-site comparison and to analyse temporal variations over 40years. Results show that some sites are more able than others to maintain zones where salmon parr can forage unimpeded by high flow velocities under both wet and dry conditions. With lower flow velocities, dry years offer higher values of than wet years. Even though can change considerably across the sites as stream flow changes, the directions of change are consistent. Relative available habitat (RAH) shows a strong relationship with discharge per unit width, whilst channel slope and bed roughness either do not have relevant impact or compensate each other. The results show that significant parr habitat was available at all sites across all flows during this critical growth period, suggesting that hydrological variability is not a factor limiting growth in the Girnock.

Concepts: Hydrology, Salmon, Velocity, Atlantic salmon, Salmo, Tasmania, Relative velocity, Displacement


Growth-related dynamics of intracellular protease activities in four year classes of the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L. 1758) parr and smolts inhabiting salmon rivers of northwestern Russia (the White Sea basin) were studied. Cathepsin B, cathepsin D, proteasome, and calpain activities in the skeletal muscles of salmon were assessed to investigate their relative contribution to the total protein degradation as well as to young fish growth process. It was confirmed that calpain activity dominate in salmon muscles while proteasome plays a minor role, in contrast to terrestrial vertebrates. Calpain and proteasome activities were maximal at the early post-larval stage (in parrs 0+) and declined with age (parrs 1+ through 2+) dropping to the lowest level in salmon smolts. Annual growth increments and proteolytic activities of calpains and proteasome in the muscles of salmon juveniles changed with age in an orchestrated manner, while lysosomal cathepsin activities increased with age. Comparing protease activities and growth increments in salmon parr and smolts we suggested that the partial suppression of the protein degradation could be a mechanism stimulating efficient growth in smoltifying salmon. Growth and smoltification-related dynamics of protease activities was quite similar in salmon populations from studied spawning rivers, such as Varzuga and Indera; however, some habitat-related differences were observed. Growth increments and protease activities varied in salmon parr 0+ (but not on later ages) inhabiting either main rivers or small tributaries apparently due to habitat difference on the resources for fish growth.

Concepts: Myosin, Muscular system, Salmon, Protease, Proteolysis, Atlantic salmon, Salmo, EC 3.4


This study was conducted to characterize the features of muscle-specific genes expression during development of brown trout Salmo trutta inhabiting the river Krivoy ruchey (Kola Peninsula, Russia). Gene expression levels of myogenic regulatory factors (MRFs - MyoD1 paralogs (MyoD1a, MyoD1b, MyoD1c), Myf5, myogenin), myostatin paralogs (MSTN-1a, MSTN-1b, MSTN-2a), fast sceletal myosin heavy chain (MyHC) were measured in the white muscles of brown trout parr of ages 0+ (under-yearling), 1+ (yearling) and 2+ (two year old) and smolts of age 2+. Multidirectional changes in MyoD1 and MSTN paralogs expression along with myogenin, Myf 5 and MyHC expression levels in white muscles in parr of trout with age were revealed. The expression of MyoD1c, myogenin, MSTN-2a was the highest in 0+ parr and then decreased. MyoD1a/b expression levels didn’t differ between age groups. The simultaneous elevation of MyHC, Myf5, MSTN-1a, and MSTN-1b was found in trout yearlings. In smolts, expression levels of MSTN paralogs, MyHC, Myf5, MyoD1a was lower than in parr. But in contrast, the MyoD1c and myogenin mRNA levels was higher in smolts. The study revealed that there are definite patterns in simultaneous muscle-specific genes expression in age groups of parr and smolts. As MyoD and MSTN paralogs expression changed differently in dependence on age and stage, it was suggested that paralogs of the same gene complementarily control myogenesis during development.

Concepts: DNA, Genetics, Gene expression, Myosin, Salmo, MyoD, Brown trout, Myogenic regulatory factors


Atlantic salmon Salmo salar smolts were produced with similar energetic states as wild S. salar and the effect of low energetic state on smolt migration was tested. The total energetic state of the fish (body lipids and proteins) in the spring was correlated with Fulton’s condition factor (K). Fish at a low energetic state swam slower but migrated further than fish at a higher energetic state when tested in two experimental streams. During a period of starvation throughout the winter and spring, fish conserved their body-lipid reserves at 1·5% by using more protein as an energy source and the metabolic shift occurred between 3·5 and 1·5% body lipids. An energetic state of approximately 3·5 kJ g-1(K ≈ 0·65) appeared to be the critical limit for survival.

Concepts: Protein, Metabolism, Energy, Salmon, Pacific Ocean, Atlantic salmon, Salmo, Tasmania


Vaccination is considered crucial for disease prevention and fish health in the global salmon farming industry. Nevertheless, some aspects, such as the efficacy of vaccines, can be largely circumvented during natural coinfections. Sea lice are ectoparasitic copepods that can occur with a high prevalence in the field, are frequently found in co-infection with other pathogens, and are highly detrimental to fish health. The aim of this case-control study was to evaluate the interaction between the detrimental effects of coinfection and the protective effects of vaccination in fish. We used the interaction between the sea louse Caligus rogercresseyi, the bacterial pathogen Piscirickettsia salmonis, and their host, the Atlantic salmon Salmo salar, as a study model. Our results showed that coinfection decreased the accumulated survival (AS) and specific growth rate (SGR) of vaccinated fish (AS = 5.2 ± 0.6%; SGR = -0.05 ± 0.39%) compared to a single infection of P. salmonis (AS = 42.7 ± 1.3%; SGR = 0.21 ± 0.22%). Concomitantly, the bacterial load and clinical signs of disease were significantly increased in coinfected fish. Coinfection may explain the reduced efficacy of vaccines in sea cages and highlights the need to test fish vaccines in more diverse conditions rather than with a single infection.

Concepts: Immune system, Microbiology, Vaccination, Pathogen, Salmon, Aquaculture, Atlantic salmon, Salmo


Lake Ontario once supported a large complex of Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) populations that became extinct prior to scientific study. Since the 1860s, research efforts to conserve and reintroduce a sustainable population of Atlantic Salmon have focused on determining whether Lake Ontario’s original salmon populations had migrated to the Atlantic Ocean as part of their lifecycle (anadromy), stayed in the lake year-round (potamodromy), or both. We used stable carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur isotope analyses of archaeological bones and historical museum-archived salmon scales to show that the original salmon populations from Lake Ontario completed their entire lifecycle without migrating to the Atlantic Ocean. With a time depth of more than 500 years, our findings provide a unique baseline with significant potential for informing modern restocking and conservation efforts.

Concepts: Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Carbon, Salmon, Pacific Ocean, Atlantic salmon, Salmo, Great Lakes


Worldwide, a number of viable populations of fish are found in environments heavily contaminated with metals, including brown trout (Salmo trutta) inhabiting the River Hayle in South-West of England. This population is chronically exposed to a water-borne mixture of metals, including copper and zinc, at concentrations lethal to naïve fish. We aimed to investigate the molecular mechanisms employed by the River Hayle brown trout to tolerate high metal concentrations. To achieve this, we combined tissue metal analysis, with whole-transcriptome profiling, using RNA-seq on an Illumina platform. Metal concentrations in the Hayle trout, compared to fish from a relatively un-impacted river, were significantly increased in the gills, liver and kidney (63, 34 and 19 fold respectively), but not the gut. This confirms that these fish can tolerate considerable metal accumulation, highlighting the importance of these tissues in metal uptake (gill), storage and detoxification (liver, kidney). We sequenced, assembled and annotated the brown trout transcriptome, using a de novo approach. Subsequent gene expression analysis identified 998 differentially expressed transcripts, and functional analysis revealed that metal- and ion-homeostasis pathways are likely to be the most important mechanisms contributing to the metal tolerance exhibited by this population.

Concepts: Gene expression, Molecular biology, Fish, Copper, Salmo, Rainbow trout, RNA-Seq, Brown trout