NFAT5 genes are part of the osmotic regulatory system in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar).
ABSTRACT: The anadromous Atlantic salmon utilizes both fresh and salt water (FW and SW) habitats during its life cycle. The parr-smolt transformation (PST) is an important developmental transition from a FW adapted juvenile parr to a SW adapted smolt. Physiological changes in osmoregulatory tissues, particularly the gill, are key in maintaining effective ion regulation during PST. Changes are initiated prior to SW exposure (preparative phase), and are completed when smolts enter the sea (activational phase) where osmotic stress may directly stimulate changes in gene expression. In this paper we identify 4 nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT5, an osmotic stress transcription factor) paralogues in Atlantic salmon, which showed strong homology in characterized functional domains with those identified in other vertebrates. Two of the identified paralogues (NFAT5b1 and NFAT5b2) showed increased expression following transfer from FW to SW. This effect was largest in parr that were maintained under short day photoperiod, and showed the highest increases in chloride ion levels in response to SW exposure. The results of this study suggest that NFAT5 is involved in the osmotic stress response of Atlantic salmon.
Project description:In order to assess the effect of dietary phosphorus (P) in reducing vertebral malformations and improving freshwater (FW) performance in triploid Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), both triploid and diploid Atlantic salmon were fed three different dietary P inclusion levels (low: 4.9, medium: 7.7, and high: 9.7?g?available?P?kg-1) from first feeding until smolt. Somatic and skeletal response was assessed at fry (~0.5?g), parr (~5?g) and smolt (~45?g) stages. Triploid parr initially grew faster on the high P diet, while groups fed low P resulted in a significantly higher weight at smolt. Image analysis of double stained Alcian blue and Alizarin red S fry revealed that low P fed triploid fish presented less well mineralised vertebrae, and significantly more malformed vertebrae in both parr and smolt stages following x-ray radiographic assessment. Triploid parr fed high and medium P had similar numbers of malformed vertebrae relative to their diploid counterparts but greater numbers than at smolt. Low P fed triploids had the highest prevalence of jaw and vertebral malformations as well as the highest number of deformed vertebrae in the central caudal vertebral region, which was more pronounced at parr than at smolt. Shorter vertebrae dorso-ventral lengths were observed throughout the spinal column (R1-R4) in parr fed low P and only in the caudal region (R3) at smolt. In parr, both ploidies showed reduced phosphate homeostasis protein fgf23 gene expression in vertebrae when fed low P diets, while triploids showed greater down-regulation of osteogenic factors (alp, opn and igf1r) between diets relative to diploids, suggesting possible greater active suppression of mineralisation and reduced osteogenic potential in triploids. No effects of diet or ploidy on gene expression were evident at smolt. Comparisons between development stages suggest early P supplementation in triploids is crucial for skeletal development. Ultimately, reducing vertebral deformities observed at smolt with higher P supplementation in triploids could contribute towards improving skeletal performance and welfare of the stocks in the marine phase.
Project description:The aim of this experiment was to explore transcriptomic changes in the gills of Altantic salmon (Salmo salar) following a model lab based parr smolt transformation from fresh water (FW) to salt water (SW). The process of smoltification (migration from FW to SW) is stimulated by long day photoperiod, which acts on the tissue-specific levels of active thyroid hormone (triiodothyronine, T3) through the expression of thyroid hormone type 2 deiodinase (dio2), responsible for conversion of inactive thyroxine (T4) to T3. To gain insight into the functional significance of dio2 induction, we performed a SW-challenge experiment in which we inhibited dio2 activity by addition of iopanoic acid (IOP) to the SW. We also assessed the ability of co-treatment with T3 to override IOP effects. Juvenile fish maintained in FW were subjected to a standard smolt photoperiod regime known to stimulate smoltification, after which they were randomly allocated to one of the four treatments: SW, SW+IOP, SW+IOP+T3 and FW as a control. Fish (n = 8-10 per treatment) were exposed to these conditions for 6 h and then sacrificed to obtain gill tissue for microarray analysis, carried out using a custom-designed Agilent oligonucleotide microarray platform Salar_2 (one glass slide with 4 x 44K arrays, Agilent design ID: 025520, array design A-MEXP-2065), developed and validated for Atlantic salmon (for details, see specific protocols) . In total, 36 hybridisations were performed on gills from individual fish, with 8-10 replicate fish per treatment. We identified 1939 genes whose expression was significantly increased or decreased by transfer from FW to SW. For a subset of 259 genes, this SW response was abolished if IOP was added to the SW, but maintained if T3 was also present during IOP treatment. This group of genes constitutes a candidate list, for which SW-inducibility appears to be dependent on locally mediated changes in gill T3 availability. The results of this experiment have been submitted for publication in Current Biology and are currently under review.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The Atlantic salmon is an important aquaculture species and a very interesting species biologically, since it spawns in fresh water and develops through several stages before becoming a smolt, the stage at which it migrates to the sea to feed. The dramatic change of habitat requires physiological, morphological and behavioural changes to prepare the salmon for its new environment. These changes are called the parr-smolt transformation or smoltification, and pre-adapt the salmon for survival and growth in the marine environment. The development of hypo-osmotic regulatory ability plays an important part in facilitating the transition from rivers to the sea. The physiological mechanisms behind the developmental changes are largely unknown. An understanding of the transformation process will be vital to the future of the aquaculture industry. A knowledge of which genes are expressed prior to the smoltification process is an important basis for further studies. RESULTS: In all, 2974 unique sequences, consisting of 779 contigs and 2195 singlets, were generated for Atlantic salmon from two cDNA libraries constructed from the gills and the intestine, accession numbers [Genbank: CK877169-CK879929, CK884015-CK886537 and CN181112-CN181464]. Nearly 50% of the sequences were assigned putative functions because they showed similarity to known genes, mostly from other species, in one or more of the databases used. The Swiss-Prot database returned significant hits for 1005 sequences. These could be assigned predicted gene products, and 967 were annotated using Gene Ontology (GO) terms for molecular function, biological process and/or cellular component, employing an annotation transfer procedure. CONCLUSION: This paper describes the construction of two cDNA libraries from pre-smolt Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and the subsequent EST sequencing, clustering and assigning of putative function to 1005 genes expressed in the gills and/or intestine.
Project description:The shift from marine to plant-based ingredients in fish feeds affects the dietary concentrations and bioavailability of micronutrients, amino acids and lipids and consequently warrants a re-evaluation of dietary nutrient recommendations. In the present study, an Atlantic salmon diet high in plant ingredients was supplemented with graded levels of nutrient premix (NP), containing selected amino acids, taurine, cholesterol, vitamins and minerals. This article presents the results on the antioxidant nutrients vitamin C, E and selenium (Se), and effects on tissue redox status. The feed ingredients appeared to contain sufficient levels of vitamin E and Se to cover the requirements to prevent clinical deficiency symptoms. The body levels of ?-tocopherol (TOH) in parr and that of Se in parr and post-smolt showed a linear relationship with dietary concentration, while ?-TOH in post-smolt seemed to be saturable with a breakpoint near 140 mg kg-1. Ascorbic acid (Asc) concentration in the basal feed was below the expected minimum requirement, but the experimental period was probably too short for the fish to develop visible deficiency symptoms. Asc was saturable in both parr and post-smolt whole body at dietary concentrations of 190 and 63-89 mg kg-1, respectively. Maximum whole body Asc concentration was approximately 40 mg kg-1 in parr and 14 mg kg-1 in post-smolt. Retention ranged from 41 to 10% in parr and from -206 to 12% in post-smolt with increasing NP supplementation. This indicates that the post-smolts had an extraordinarily high consumption of Asc. Analyses of glutathione (GSH) and glutathione disulphide (GSSG) concentrations and the calculated GSH based redox potentials in liver and muscle tissue, indicated only minor effects of diets on redox regulation. However, the post-smolt were more oxidized than the parr. This was supported by the high consumption of Asc and high expression of gpx1 and gpx3 in liver. Based on the present trials, the recommendations for supplementation of vitamin C and E in diets for Atlantic salmon are similar to current practices, e.g. 150 mg kg-1 of ?-TOH and 190 mg kg-1 Asc which was the saturating concentration in parr. Higher concentrations than what would prevent clinical deficiency symptoms are necessary to protect fish against incidents of oxidative stress and to improve immune and stress responses. There were no indications that the Se requirement exceeded the current recommendation of 0.3 mg kg-1.
Project description:Triploid Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) is seen as one of the best solutions to solve key issues in the salmon farming industry, such as the impact of escapees on wild stocks and pre-harvest sexual maturation. However, the effects of triploidy on salmon smoltification are poorly understood at the molecular level, even though smoltification is a very sensitive period that has a major influence on survival rate and performance of farmed salmon. In this study, we have compared the liver transcriptomes of diploid and triploid Atlantic salmon at three ontogeny stages: fry, parr and smolt. In diploid fish, a total of 2,655 genes were differentially expressed between fry and parr, whereas 506 genes had significantly different transcript levels between parr and smolts. In triploids, 1,507 and 974 genes were differentially expressed between fry and parr, and between parr and smolts, respectively. Most of these genes were down-regulated and 34 genes were differentially expressed between ploidies at the same stage. In both ploidy groups, the top differentially expressed genes with ontogeny stage belonged to common functional categories that can be related to smoltification. Nucleotide and energy metabolism were significantly down-regulated in fry when compared to parr, while immune system processes were significantly down-regulated in parr when compared to smolts. The close resemblance of enriched biological processes and pathways between ploidy groups suggests that triploidy is regulated by genome dosage compensation in Atlantic salmon. Histological analysis revealed that areas of vacuolization (steatosis) were present only in fry and parr stages, in contrast to a compact cellular histology with glycogen granules after smoltification. There was no significant difference in vacuolization between ploidy groups at the fry stage but the liver of diploid parr had a 33.5% higher vacuolization area compared to their triploid counterparts. Taken together, our data provide novel insights into the changes that occur at the molecular and histological level in the liver of both diploid and triploid Atlantic salmon prior to and during smoltification.
Project description:Juvenile salmon have an olfactory ability to imprint their natal stream odors, but neither the odor properties of natal stream water nor the imprinting timing and duration have been clarified as yet. Here we show, using electrophysiological and behavioral experiments, that one-year-old lacustrine sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) can be imprinted around the stage of parr-smolt transformation (PST) by a single amino acid, 1 microM L-proline (Pro), or L-glutamic acid (Glu). We also show by real-time PCR that changes occur in mRNA levels of the salmon olfactory imprinting-related gene (SOIG) around PST. The electro-olfactogram (EOG) responses of test fish exposed to Pro in March (before PST) and April-June (during PST) for 2 weeks were significantly (1.7-fold) greater than those of non-exposed control fish, but not those of test fish exposed in July (after PST). When Pro and control water were added to the water inlets of a two-choice test tank during the spawning season 2 years after the test water exposure, 80% of maturing and matured test fish exposed before and during PST showed a preference for Pro, whereas those exposed after PST did not. The EOG response of test fish exposed to Pro or Glu for 1 hour, 6 hours, 1 day, 7 days, or 14 days in May revealed that only the response after 14 days of exposure was significantly (1.8-fold) greater than the control. The expression levels of SOIG mRNA increased before and during PST, and decreased after PST. We conclude that one-year-old lacustrine sockeye salmon can be imprinted by a single amino acid before and during PST, and that imprinting requires exposure for at least 14 days.
Project description:Atlantic salmon farming operates with high production intensities where skin integrity is recognized as a central factor and indicator for animal health and welfare. In the described trial, the skin development and its immune status in healthy Atlantic salmon reared in two different systems, a traditional open net-pen system and a semi-closed containment system, were investigated. Freshwater smolts were compared to post-smolts after 1 and 4 months in seawater. Growth performance, when adjusted for temperature, was equal between the systems. Skin analyses, including epidermis and dermis, showed that thickness and mucus cell numbers increased in pace with the growth and time post seawater transfer (PST). Gene expression changes suggested similar processes with development of connective tissue, formation of extracellular matrix and augmented cutaneous secretion, changes in mucus protein composition and overall increased immune activity related to gradually enforced protection against pathogens. Results suggest a gradual morphological development in skin with a delayed recovery of immune functions PST. It is possible that Atlantic salmon could experience increased susceptibility to infectious agents and risk of diseases during the first post-smolt period.
Project description:Understanding the extent, scale and genetic basis of local adaptation (LA) is important for conservation and management. Its relevance in salmonids at microgeographic scales, where dispersal (and hence potential gene flow) can be substantial, has however been questioned. Here, we compare the fitness of communally reared offspring of local and foreign Atlantic salmon Salmo salar from adjacent Irish rivers and reciprocal F1 hybrid crosses between them, in the wild 'home' environment of the local population. Experimental groups did not differ in wild smolt output but a catastrophic flood event may have limited our ability to detect freshwater performance differences, which were evident in a previous study. Foreign parr exhibited higher, and hybrids intermediate, emigration rates from the natal stream relative to local parr, consistent with genetically based behavioural differences. Adult return rates were lower for the foreign compared to the local group. Overall lifetime success of foreigners and hybrids relative to locals was estimated at 31% and 40% (mean of both hybrid groups), respectively. The results imply a genetic basis to fitness differences among populations separated by only 50 km, driven largely by variation in smolt to adult return rates. Hence even if supplementary stocking programs obtain broodstock from neighbouring rivers, the risk of extrinsic outbreeding depression may be high.
Project description:Diploid and triploid Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar were fed high-protein, phosphorus-rich diets (56-60% protein; ca 18g phosphorus kg-1 diet) whilst being reared at low temperature from start-feeding until parr-smolt transformation. Performances of salmon fed diets based on fish meal (STD) or a mix of fishmeal and hydrolysed fish proteins (HFM) as the major protein sources were compared in terms of mortality, diet digestibility, growth and skeletal deformities. Separate groups of diploids and triploids were reared in triplicate tanks (initially 3000 fish per tank; tank biomass ca. 620 g) from 0-2745 degree-days post-start feeding (ddPSF). Growth metrics (weight, length, condition factor) were recorded at ca. 4 week intervals, external signs of deformities to the operculum, jaws and spinal column were examined in parr sampled at 1390 ddPSF, and external signs of deformity and vertebral anomalies (by radiography) were examined in fish sampled at the end of the trial (2745 ddPSF). The triploid salmon generally had a lower mass per unit length, i.e. lower condition factor, throughout the trial, but this did not seem to reflect any consistent dietary or ploidy effects on either dietary digestibility or the growth of the fish. By the end of the trial fish in all treatment groups had achieved a weight of 50+ g, and had completed the parr-smolt transformation. The triploids had slightly, but significantly, fewer vertebrae (Triploids STD 58.74 ± 0.10; HFM 58.68 ± 0.05) than the diploids (Diploids STD 58.97 ± 0.14; HFM 58.89 ± 0.01), and the incidence of skeletal (vertebral) abnormalities was higher in triploids (Triploids STD 31 ± 0.90%; HFM 15 ± 1.44%) than in diploids (Diploids STD 4 ± 0.80%; HFM 4 ± 0.83%). The HFM diet gave a significant reduction in the numbers of triploid salmon with vertebral anomalies in comparison with the triploids fed the STD diet possibly as a result of differences in phosphorus bioavailability between the two diets. Overall, the incidence of skeletal deformities was lower than reported in previous studies (Diploids 20+%, Triploids 40+%), possibly as a result of the combination of rearing at low-temperature and phosphorus-rich diets being used in the present study.
Project description:Aiming to re-evaluate current recommendations for nutrient supplementations when Atlantic salmon are fed diets based on plant ingredients, two regression experiments, with parr and post-smolt, were conducted. A control diet was included to evaluate if ingredients supplied sufficient nutrients without any added nutrient package (NP). The nutrient package consisted of vitamins B, C, E, minerals, cholesterol, methionine, taurine and histidine. This paper focus on B-vitamins. In parr, growth, health and welfare parameters responded on NP additions, but this was not observed in the seawater stage. During three months of feeding, parr tripled their weight. Parr given diets added the NP above NRC (2011) showed improved protein retention, and reduced liver and viscera indices. Post-smolt fed the same diets during five months showed a doubling of weight, but did not respond to the variation in NP to the same extent as parr. Significant regressions were obtained in body compartments for several of the B-vitamins in the premix. Whole body biotin concentration was unaffected by micronutrient premix level, and mRNA expression of the enzymes dependent of biotin showed only weak increases with increased biotin. Muscle thiamine plateaued at a diet level similar to NRC (2011) recommendation in freshwater, and showed stable values independent on premix addition in seawater. The mRNA expression of the enzyme G6PDH (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase) is sensitive to thiamine availability; results did not indicate any need to add thiamine above levels recommended for fish in general. Niacin showed a steady increase in whole body concentrations as feed niacin increased. Muscle riboflavin peaked at a diet level of 12.4 mg kg-1. Sufficient riboflavin is important to avoid e.g., development of cataract. Cataract was not registered to be any problem, neither in fresh- nor in seawater. Cobalamin (B 12) in muscle and liver was saturated at 0.17 mg kg-1 diet. Muscle pyridoxine showed a dose-dependent level in muscle, and peaked around 10 mg kg -1 diet. White muscle ASAT (asparagine amino transferase) activity steadily increased, with indications of stable values when dietary pyridoxine was around 10-16 mg kg -1 diet. Pantothenic acid increased in gill tissue up to a level of 5.5 mg kg -1 soft gill tissue; at a dietary level of 22 mg kg-1. Improved performance, and coverage of metabolic need for niacin was at a dietary level of 66 mg kg -1, riboflavin 10-12 mg kg-1, pyridoxine 10 mg kg-1 and panthotenic acid 22 mg kg-1. Based on these results, recommended B-vitamin supplementation in plant based diets for Atlantic salmon should be adjusted.