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Increased mitochondrial coupling and anaerobic capacity minimizes aerobic costs of trout in the sea

Journal article
Authors Jeroen Brijs
Erik Sandblom
Henrik Sundh
Albin Gräns
James Hinchcliffe
Andreas Ekström
Kristina Sundell
Catharina Olsson
Michael Axelsson
Nicolas Pichaud
Published in Scientific Reports
Volume 7
ISSN 2045-2322
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Language en
Links doi.org/10.1038/srep45778
Subject categories Animal physiology

Abstract

Anadromy is a distinctive life-history strategy in fishes that has evolved independently many times. In an evolutionary context, the benefits of anadromy for a species or population must outweigh the costs and risks associated with the habitat switch. The migration of fish across the freshwater-ocean boundary coincides with potentially energetically costly osmoregulatory modifications occurring at numerous levels of biological organization. By integrating whole animal and sub-cellular metabolic measurements, this study presents significant findings demonstrating how an anadromous salmonid (i.e. rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss) is able to transform from a hyper- to hypo-osmoregulatory state without incurring significant increases in whole animal oxygen consumption rate. Instead, underlying metabolic mechanisms that fuel the osmoregulatory machinery at the organ level (i.e. intestine) are modulated, as mitochondrial coupling and anaerobic metabolism are increased to satisfy the elevated energetic demands. This may have positive implications for the relative fitness of the migrating individual, as aerobic capacity may be maintained for locomotion (i.e. foraging and predator avoidance) and growth. Furthermore, the ability to modulate mitochondrial metabolism in order to maintain osmotic balance suggests that mitochondria of anadromous fish may have been a key target for natural selection, driving species adaptations to different aquatic environments.

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