Molecular preliminary studies on adipose fin function in salmonids in aquaculture

Contact: Prof. Dr. Tom Goldammer

Duration: 2020

Funding: European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF)

The adipose fin of several 100 million salmonids is cut off annually for marking purposes. Physiological experiments carried out decades ago showed that the absence of an adipose fin increases swimming effort. In contrast to the previous representation of the fin as a phylogenetically rudimentary and functionless rest consisting of fat cells, more recent microscopic analyses identified a complex network of nerve-like cells in the adipose fin of salmonids at a brain-like connective density. This indicates a sensory function of the fin. The aim of the proposed project is to test the existing hypothesis on sensory adipose fin function with initial molecular biological approaches on salmonids. The expected results should serve as a prerequisite for further basic research on the topic, in which, among other things, the potential pain reaction of the fish by resection of the adipose fin should be elucidated on a molecular level. Thus, the project is equally relevant for animal welfare and fishing practice.