Stress responsiveness affects dominant-subordinate relationships in rainbow trout

Pottinger, T.G.; Carrick, T.R.. 2001 Stress responsiveness affects dominant-subordinate relationships in rainbow trout. Hormones and Behavior, 40 (3). 419-427.

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The magnitude by which plasma cortisol levels increase following exposure to a stressor is a heritable trait in rainbow trout. The relative growth in co-culture of F1 lines selected for high-responsiveness (HR) and low-responsiveness (LR) to a confinement stressor suggested that behavioral characteristics related to food acquisition, aggression or competitive ability might differ between the two lines. This hypothesis was tested using the F2 generation of the selected lines. The F2 lines clearly exhibited the characteristics of the F1 parents, displaying significantly divergent plasma cortisol responses to a 1h confinement stressor and a high heritability for the trait. Behavioral differences between the lines were assessed by observing the outcome of staged fights for dominance in size-matched pairs of HR and LR fish. The identification of dominant and subordinate fish within each pair on the basis of their behavior was supported by the levels of blood cortisol in the fish attributed to each group (dominant << subordinate). Fish from the LR line were identified as dominant in significantly more trials than were HR individuals. The results suggest that behavioral attributes that affect the outcome of rank-order fights are closely linked to the magnitude of the plasma cortisol response to stress in rainbow trout. Whether the link is causal or circumstantial is not yet evident.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Other
CEH Sections/Science Areas: _ Pre-2000 sections
ISSN: 0018-506X
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: NOTICE: the attached document is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Hormones and Behavior. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Hormones and Behavior, 2011, 40,(3) 419-427. doi: 10.1006/hbeh.2001.1707
Additional Keywords: stress, dominance, cortisol, behavior, rainbow trout, aggression, Oncorhynchus mykiss, selective breeding, coping strategies
NORA Subject Terms: Zoology
Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 01 Jul 2015 13:13 +0 (UTC)

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