Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Development of more muscular trout could boost commercial aquaculture

Date:
March 11, 2010
Source:
University of Rhode Island
Summary:
A 10-year effort by a scientist to develop transgenic rainbow trout with enhanced muscle growth has yielded fish with what have been described as six-pack abs and muscular shoulders that could provide a boost to the commercial aquaculture industry.

Transgenic trout with "six pack abs."
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Rhode Island

A 10-year effort by a University of Rhode Island scientist to develop transgenic rainbow trout with enhanced muscle growth has yielded fish with what have been described as six-pack abs and muscular shoulders that could provide a boost to the commercial aquaculture industry.

Terry Bradley, a URI professor of fisheries and aquaculture, said his research into the inhibition of myostatin, a protein that slows muscle growth, has obtained "stunning results" in the last two years, with trout growing 15 to 20 percent more muscle mass than standard fish.

"Belgian blue cattle have a natural mutation in myostatin causing a 20 to 25 percent increase in muscle mass, and mice overexpressing myostatin exhibit a two-fold increase in skeletal muscle mass. But fish have a very different mechanism of muscle growth than mammals, so we weren't certain it was going to work," Bradley said.

According to Bradley, the number of muscle fibers in mammals is limited after birth, but in fish, muscle fiber numbers increase throughout their lifespan. Since inhibition of myostatin increases the numbers of muscle fibers, it had been a mystery as to whether inhibiting myostatin would cause an increase in muscle growth in fish.

Bradley and a team of graduate students spent 500 hours injecting 20,000 rainbow trout eggs with various DNA types designed to inhibit myostatin. Of the eggs that hatched, 300 carried the gene that led to increased muscle growth. After two years, most exhibited a "six-pack ab" effect, even though fish lack standard abdominal muscles. They also have increased musculature throughout, including a prominent dorsal hump that made them look like they had muscular shoulders.

The first generation of transgenic trout were subsequently spawned, and offspring carrying the gene in all of their muscle cells have been produced. Studies are under way to determine if the fish grow at a faster rate as well.

"Our findings are quite stunning," said Bradley, who also studies salmon, flounder and tuna. "The results have significant implications for commercial aquaculture and provide completely novel information on the mechanisms of fish growth. The results also allow for comparisons between the mechanisms of growth of muscle in mammals versus fish, and it could shed light on muscle wasting diseases in humans."

About 500,000 metric tons of rainbow trout are raised each year in aquaculture facilities in the United States and Europe. In the U.S., some 1,000 trout farms produce approximately $80 million of trout annually, mostly in Idaho, New York, Pennsylvania and California. Assuming Bradley's transgenic fish meet with regulatory approval, it could provide a boost to the industry by enabling aquaculturists to grow larger fish without increasing the amount of food the fish are fed.

"One of the advantages of this approach is that the modified genes introduced into the fish use the same mechanism and cause the same type of effect that occurs naturally in Belgian blue cattle and other 'double muscled' animals," said Bradley.

While the transgenic trout may look like bodybuilders, Bradley said they exhibit normal behaviors. He will continue to study the fish to learn if the new gene affects any other genes, and to determine if new husbandry practices will aid in the raising of the trout.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Rhode Island. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Rhode Island. "Development of more muscular trout could boost commercial aquaculture." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100310113540.htm>.
University of Rhode Island. (2010, March 11). Development of more muscular trout could boost commercial aquaculture. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100310113540.htm
University of Rhode Island. "Development of more muscular trout could boost commercial aquaculture." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100310113540.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 20, 2014) Forget rolling on rubber, could car drivers soon be traveling on tires made from dandelions? Teams of scientists are racing to breed a type of the yellow flower whose taproot has a milky fluid with tire-grade rubber particles in it. As Joanna Partridge reports, global tire makers are investing millions in research into a new tire source. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Unsustainable Elephant Poaching Killed 100K In 3 Years

Unsustainable Elephant Poaching Killed 100K In 3 Years

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) Poachers have killed 100,000 elephants between 2010 and 2012, as the booming ivory trade takes its toll on the animals in Africa. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins