Differences in behaviour between rainbow trout selected for high- and low-stress responsiveness

Øverli, Øyvind; Pottinger, Tom G.; Carrick, Toby R.; Øverli, Elisabeth; Winberg, Svante. 2002 Differences in behaviour between rainbow trout selected for high- and low-stress responsiveness. Journal of Experimental Biology, 205. 391-395.

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Two F1 lines of rainbow trout divergent for plasma cortisol responsiveness were generated by individual selection for post stress cortisol values within the F0 generation. Adult females of the F1 generation were transferred to rearing in social isolation in observation tanks. After 6 days locomotor activity in high- and low-responding (HR, LR) individuals was quantified as time spent moving during a 20 min observation period. Behavioural observations were repeated the next day with a smaller conspecific intruder present in each observation tank. Differential hypothalamus-pituitary-interrenal axis activity in the two lines was subsequently confirmed by a standardised confinement stress test, which resulted in significantly higher plasma cortisol concentrations in HR than LR fish. HR fish displayed higher levels of locomotor activity than LR fish in the presence of an intruder, but not when in isolation. Aggressive behaviour towards the intruder was not seen, suggesting either state-dependent lack of territorial aggression, or chronic stress in the experimental fish. A significantly higher incidence of feed intake was seen in LR trout when held in observation tanks (40% vs 0 % of the fish took food when in isolation), suggesting that these fish acclimated more successfully to the experimental conditions than HR fish did. These results suggest that selection for stress responsiveness in salmonid fish leads to behavioural alterations, which are of potential importance to the performance of these fish in aquaculture rearing operations.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Water
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: _ Environmental Chemistry & Pollution
ISSN: 0022-0949
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Click on the Official URL to access freely available full text
Additional Keywords: stress response, behaviour, rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, cortisol, coping strategies, selective breeding
NORA Subject Terms: Zoology
Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 29 Jun 2015 13:03 +0 (UTC)

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