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Odorant receptor gene expression changes during the parr-smolt transformation in Atlantic salmon

Dukes, J. P., Deaville, R., Bruford, Michael William, Youngson, A. F. and Jordan, W. C. 2004. Odorant receptor gene expression changes during the parr-smolt transformation in Atlantic salmon. Molecular Ecology 13 (9) , pp. 2851-2857. 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2004.02252.x

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The ability of salmon to home accurately to their natal stream to spawn has long intrigued biologists and has important consequences for the maintenance of population structure in these species. It is known that olfaction is crucial to homing, and that the transition from the freshwater to the marine environment (the parr–smolt transformation; PST) is a period of increased olfactory sensitivity and learning, resulting in a permanent memory of natal site odours that is retained, at least in part, in peripheral sensory neurones. These odours are then used as cues by sexually maturing fish on their homeward migration. We used quantitative polymerase chain reaction techniques to demonstrate transient increases in expression of odorant receptor transcripts (of up to fifty-fold over pre-PST levels) coincident with PST. Both olfactory (SORB) and vomeronasal receptors (SVRA and SVRC) are involved, which suggests that the fish learn both environmental odours and semiochemicals (pheromones). Receptor expression varies between families and changes over time indicating both genetic differences in odour stimuli and multiple periods of olfactory sensitivity. We suggest that changes in OR gene expression may have a role in homing behaviour and thus the maintenance of population structure in Atlantic salmon

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Sustainable Places Research Institute (PLACES)
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Uncontrolled Keywords: Atlantic salmon; gene expression; homing; odorant receptor genes; parr–smolt transformation
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
ISSN: 0962-1083
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 06:42

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