The Atlantic salmon has a complex life-cycle in which it encounters a salinity barrier initially upon migration to the sea as a young smolt and later as an adult salmon returning to its natal river. Concurrent with seawater migration is a process termed smoltification which is a series of metabolic changes which transform the freshwater parr into smolts adapted for life in the marine environment. To gain an understanding of events occurring at the molecular level in the salmon liver during this developmental process, a cDNA library prepared from post-smolt salmon liver mRNA was screened with total liver cDNA probes synthesised from parr and smolts. Clones which hybridised more strongly to the smolt probe than the parr probe were chosen as candidates, for an analysis of liver gene expression implicated in seawater adaptation. Many of these cDNA clones encoded the iron binding protein transferrin. Transferrin mRNA levels were determined to be significantly higher in seawater smolt salmon than in freshwater smolts implying that transferrin may play a role in seawater adaptation.
|Number of pages
|Journal of Applied Ichthyology
|Published - 01 Jan 1996
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science