Jun 24, 2014

Photoperiod-dependent developmental reprogramming of the transcriptional response to seawater entry in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Neil R SmalheiserTeshome mulugeta

Abstract

The developmental transition of juvenile salmon from a freshwater resident morph (parr) to a seawater (SW) migratory morph (smolt) requires a range of physiological adaptations, including the capacity to hypo-osmoregulate. This process, known as smolting, involves both photoperiod-dependent preparative changes before SW is encountered, and activational changes stimulated by exposure to SW. To explore the relationship between these two aspects we undertook experiments in which physiological and transcriptomic responses to SW-challenge were assessed in fish that had experienced different histories of photoperiodic exposure. Compared to fish held on constant light (LL), exposure to short photoperiod (SP) dramatically impaired hypo-osmoregulation in SW, and was associated with extensive glucocorticoid-related changes in gill gene expression. Additionally, a major effect of photoperiodic history was observed in the transcriptional response of LL-acclimated fish to SW, with the response profiles of fish held on LL throughout life being quite distinctive from those of fish which had experienced an 8 week period of exposure to SP prior to return to LL (SPLL). These differences in profile likely reflect a diminishing role for NFAT-media...Continue Reading

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