Journal article

Rapid growth causes abnormal vaterite formation in farmed fish otoliths

Tormey Reimer, Tim Dempster, Anna Wargelius, Per Gunnar Fjelldal, Tom Hansen, Kevin A Glover, Monica F Solberg, Stephen E Swearer

JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY | COMPANY OF BIOLOGISTS LTD | Published : 2017

Abstract

Sagittal otoliths are essential components of the sensory organs that enable all teleost fish to hear and maintain balance, and are primarily composed of calcium carbonate. A deformity, where aragonite (the normal crystal form) is replaced with vaterite, was first noted over 50 years ago but its underlying cause is unresolved. We evaluated the prevalence of vateritic otoliths from two captive rearing studies which suggested that fast growth, due to environmental rather than genetic control, led to vaterite development. We then tested this by varying light and temperature to create phenotypes with different growth rates, which resulted in fast growers (5 times larger) having 3 times more vate..

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