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Wild Atlantic salmon Salmo salar L. strains have greater growth potential than a domesticated strain selected for fast growth

Journal article
Authors Lena Neregård
L Sundt-Hansen
K Hindar
S Einum
Jörgen I Johnsson
R. H. Devlin
I A Fleming
Björn Thrandur Björnsson
Published in Journal of Fish Biology
Volume 73
Issue 1
Pages 79-95
ISSN 1095-8649
Publication year 2008
Published at Department of Zoology, Animal Ecology
Department of Zoology
Pages 79-95
Language en
Keywords AquaGen, growth hormone, growth response, Imsa, Namsen
Subject categories Animal physiology, Ethology and behavioural ecology


A study was undertaken to examine the responses of three Atlantic salmon Salmo salar strains to growth hormone (GH) treatment. A positive growth response to sustained-release GH implants was found in two wild strains (Namsen and Imsa) as well as one domesticated strain (AquaGen). The data revealed that the growth-selected AquaGen strain has further growth potential, however, a stronger growth response was observed in the wild strains which outgrew the domesticated strain after GH treatment. These observations suggest that some growth potential may have been lost during the selection for rapid growth in the AquaGen strain. In September, the parr were GH implanted and in December sampled for plasma GH and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) levels, liver, muscle and gill GH receptor, IGF-I mRNA levels, gill Na+,K+-ATPase activity, muscle and liver lipid content and body silvering. Low temperature and seasonal growth cessation probably explains the relatively limited GH effects found. Body silvering in all strains was positively correlated to size. GH increased IGF-I plasma levels in the Namsen strain inspite of liver IGF-I mRNA levels being lower in GH-treated fish.

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