Dietary sources of thiamine (vitamin B1) and thiamine-degrading enzymes (thiaminases) are thought to be primary factors in the development of thiamine deficiency among Great Lakes salmonines. We surveyed major forage fish species in Lake Michigan for their content of thiamine, thiamine vitamers, and thiaminase activity. Concentrations of total thiamine were similar (P ??? 0.05) among most forage fishes (alewife Alosa pseudoharengus, bloater Coregonus hoyi, spottail shiner Notropis hudsonius, deepwater sculpin Myoxocephalus thompsonii, yellow perch Perca flavescens, ninespine stickleback Pungitius pungitius, and round goby Neogobius melanostomus) and slightly lower in rainbow smelt Osmerus mordax. Concentrations of total thiamine were all above the dietary requirements of coldwater fishes, suggesting the thiamine content of forage fish is not the critical factor in the development of thiamine deficiency in Lake Michigan salmonines. Thiamine pyrophosphate was the predominant form of thiamine in most species of forage fish, followed by free thiamine and thiamine monophosphate. Total thiamine was slightly greater in summer collections of alewife and rainbow smelt than in spring and fall collections, but the same was not true for bloater. Thiaminase activity varied among species and was greatest in gizzard shad Dorosoma cepedianum, spottail shiner, alewife, and rainbow smelt. Thiaminase activity in alewife varied among collection locations, season (greatest in spring), and size of the fish. Size and condition factors were positively correlated with both total thiamine and thiaminase activity in alewife. Thus, thiamine and thiaminase activity in forage fishes collected in Lake Michigan varied among species, seasons, year caught, and size (or condition). Therefore, multiple factors must be considered in the development of predictive models for the onset of thiamine deficiency in Great Lakes salmonines. Most importantly, thiaminase activity was great in alewives and rainbow smelt, suggesting that these prey fish are key causative factors of the thiamine deficiency in Great Lakes salmonines. ?? Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2005.
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Thiamine and thiaminase status in forage fish of salmonines from Lake Michigan