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Sex-specific lipid profiles in muscle of Atlantic salmon juveniles

By Andrew H House, Craig R Primmer, Paul V Debes, Jaakko Erkinaro, Reijo Kakela, Johanna Kurko

Posted 13 Nov 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.11.13.379321

Energy allocation in juvenile fish can have important implications for future life-history progression. Inherited and environmental factors determine when and where individuals allocate energy, and timely and sufficient energy reserves are crucial for reaching key life stages involved in the timing of maturation and sea migration. In Atlantic salmon, lipid reserves are predominantly found in the viscera and myosepta in the muscle and have been shown to play a key role in determining the timing of maturity. This life-history trait is tightly linked to fitness in many species and can be different between males and females, however, the details of relative energy allocation in juveniles of different sexes is not well understood. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of sex, genetics and environment during juvenile development of salmon on the amount and composition of their lipid reserves. To do so, juvenile salmon were fed one of two different lipid food contents during their first summer and autumn under common-garden conditions. Muscle lipid composition and concentrations were determined by thin layer chromatography. The muscle lipid class concentrations covaried negatively with body length and males showed higher concentrations than females for phosphatidylcholine, cholesterol, sphingomyelin, and triacylglycerol. This sex-specific difference in major lipid classes presents a new scope for understanding the regulation of lipids during juvenile development and gives direction for understanding how lipids may interact and influence major life-history traits in Atlantic salmon.

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