The role of energy reserves in common carp performance inferred from phenotypic and genetic parameters

In temperate zones, energy reserves of fish are closely related to survival during the first winter of their life. In this study, the genetic and phenotypic background of the accumulation, mobilization and utilization of energy reserves was investigated in Amur mirror carp. To achieve this, the role of traits related to energy reserves on fish performance during the first winter and further periods of rearing was investigated. The experimental stock was established by four full-factorial matings of 5 dams and 10 sires to generate up to 200 full-sibling families. The offspring were sampled before and after the first winter rearing period. Seasonal variation in direct and indirect measures of energy status was examined using Fulton's condition factor (FC), hepato-somatic index (HSI), visceral index (VSI_NO), glycogen, fat and protein in hepatopancreas (HP) and muscle fat content. Other performance traits were also recorded (weight, resistance to koi herpesvirus disease). All traits related to energy reserves, except HP protein, were significantly lower after the first winter. Overall, HP glycogen and fat from muscle, HP and viscera were mobilized during winter. However, genetic correlations between same traits recorded in autumn and spring were lower than 0.8 for most of the traits, implying that not all families responded to overwintering in a similar manner. Heritability also differed before and after the first winter. Before the first winter, all traits had low to medium heritability (0.05–0.35), but after the winter the same traits were moderately or highly heritable (0.22–0.58). Interestingly, HP glycogen traits, unlike HP fat and HP protein, and HSI recorded in yearlings were positively genetically correlated with survival during the third growing season (rg = 0.49–0.72). This study provides the first evidence of a genetically based strategy for energy mobilization related to overwintering of common carp. Measuring of FC and HSI could be used to monitor the energy status of common carp and to provide a supplementary tool for management of carp stocks.


Fat, Genetic variance, Glycogen, Heritability, Lipids, Overwintering

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Zhao Jinfeng, Prchal Martin, Kause Antti, Vandeputte Marc, Gela David, Kroupová Hana Kocour, Piačková Veronika, Šauer Pavel, Steinbach Christoph, Allamellou Jean-Michel, Palaiokostas Christos, Houston Ross D., Kocour Martin (2021). The role of energy reserves in common carp performance inferred from phenotypic and genetic parameters. Aquaculture. 541. 736799 (12p.).,

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