The effects of elevated winter temperature and sub-lethal pollutants (low pH, elevated ammonia) on protein turnover in the gill and liver of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

I. J. Morgan, L. M. D'Cruz, J. J. Dockray, T. K. Linton, D. G. McDonald, C. M. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Appetite, growth, and protein turnover (synthesis, growth and degradation) of liver and gills were measured in juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) fed to satiation, and exposed for 90 days to elevated winter temperatures (+2 °C above ambient) and either low pH (5.2) in softwater or 70 ì,Ì total ammonia (TAmm) in hardwater. All fish increased in weight during the experiments, but those exposed to +2°C grew significantly more than those at ambient temperature due to a stimulation of appetite, During the relatively constant temperature of the first 75 days, +2 °C caused a significant increase in the rates of protein synthesis and degradation in the liver of hardwateracclimated fish, as a result of an increase in RNA translational efficiency (KRNA). The elevated temperature also induced an increase in gill protein synthesis in softwater-acclimated fish but in this case the underlying mechanism was an increase in Cs, the capacity for protein synthesis (RNA:protein) rather than in KRNA. The addition of 70 μM TAmm had no effect on protein turnover in either liver or gills of hardwater-acclimated fish. Low pH inhibited protein growth in the liver of softwater-acclimated fish at day 90 under both temperature regimes, This inhibition was effected via a decrease in protein synthesis at control temperature but via an increase in protein degradation when the fish were exposed to both low pH and +2 °C. From these results we conclude that a simulated global warming scenario has potentially beneficial rather than detrimental effects on protein turnover and growth of freshwater fish during winter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-389
Number of pages13
JournalFish Physiology and Biochemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998



  • Ammonia
  • Growth
  • Oncorhynchus mykiss
  • pH
  • Protein degradation
  • Protein synthesis
  • Rainbow trout
  • RNA
  • Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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