Gill Na+,K+-ATPase activity is a widely used measure of osmoregulatory preparedness in salmonid smolts. The degree to which this measure may predict long term performance is uncertain. In order to assess the relationship of this enzyme to long term growth and ion homeostasis, a cohort of Atlantic salmon hatchery smolts was used in a controlled environment with no salinity perturbations. In May 2006, gill Na+,K+-ATPase activity from 940 individually PIT tagged, Penobscot River smolts (USFWS, Green Lake National Fish Hatchery, Maine, United States) was measured immediately prior to isothermal transfer from freshwater to 32 ppt seawater. From the observed range of activities, individuals were classified as having “low”, “middle”, or “high” enzyme activity levels. Individual size (fork length and mass) was recorded on days 0, 1, 3, and 14 and monthly for four months. Growth rates over four time periods were calculated for individual fish maintained until the end of the experiment. Gill Na+,K+-ATPase activities were also measured from a subset of sampled fish. All groups effectively osmoregulated as evidenced by minor perturbations in plasma osmolyte levels. Apart from initial weight loss on transfer, fish grew throughout the experiment, however, there were no differences (fish size, growth rate, and gill Na+,K+-ATPase activity in seawater) among groups with initially different gill Na+,K+-ATPase activities (prior to seawater entry). While gill Na+,K+-ATPase activity may be predictive of performance during the acute phase of acclimation (first few days), typical variation in this enzyme, expressed in freshwater at the peak of smolting, does not appear to be predictive of long-term growth in seawater.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Gill Na+,K+-ATPase of Atlantic salmon smolts in freshwater is not a predictor of long-term growth in seawater|
|Contributing office(s)||Coop Res Unit Leetown|