Mechanisms of prey selection by young red sea bream Pagrus major were examined in Shijiki Bay by comparing the species composition of gammaridean amphipods in the diet with that in the environment. Although gammarids were the major source of food for young red sea bream, their species composition in fish stomachs changed with the growth of fish from June to October and always differed from that in the environment. The patterns of selection of gammarids were related most closely to the microhabitat of each species before mid-July. The order of selectivity of species in terms of the microhabitat was as follows: epifaunal species > shallow-burrowing species > infaunal tube-dwelling species > deep-burrowing species. After mid-July, however, selection was determined by the body size of gammarid species. Byblis japonicus that were large enough as a prey species were mainly consumed and other smaller species were not selectively eaten. Thus, the microhabitat and the body size of gammarids play dominant roles in prey selection by young red sea bream.
The objective of this study was to reveal the spawning grounds and reproductive characteristics of anadromous and resident pond smelt, Hypomesus nipponensis, coexisting in Lake Ogawara. Life history styles of females shedding in spawning grounds in the lake and its inflowing rivers were differentiated by otolith increment analysis. Size, dry weight, and water content of mature oocytes and fecundity of fish were compared between resident and anadromous fish. Both anadromous and resident fish spawned in the lake. In contrast, no resident fish were found in any of the inflowing rivers, where only anadromous fish spawned. Regression of fecundity against standard length was discontinuous with an inflection point at 63.8mm, which is the body size that differentiates large anadromous spawning groups from small resident spawning groups. Mean oocyte diameters were not significantly different between resident and anadromous fish. The eggs of resident fish had significantly more water content and a significantly lower dry weight than those of anadromous fish. These differences might influence the growth and developmental processes of progeny.
This study attempts to understand the color effects of artificial lures on the hooking rate of mackerel longline fisheries in Taiwan waters. From the results obtained from field work, the order of hooking rates from the different colored lures was red>black>yellow-green>yellow-orange=reddish orange=pink>white>blue>purple>transparent. Transparent, purple and blue lures had the smallest hooking rates and showed significant differences (least significant difference test) from the other colored lures. However, no significant differences could be found among the hooking rates of the other colored lures. In addition, the lumiunous reflectance of nine different gray lures did not show any significant difference in the hooking rates. Therefore, it is likely that the ‘spectral’ (colored) effects are the major influence causing the differences in hooking rates and the luminous effects play only a minor role in artificial lures.
The nutrient uptake kinetics of Kjellmaniella crassifolia and Laminaria japonica were determined under a variety of conditions. The nitrate and phosphate uptake rates followed Michaelis-Menten kinetics toward ambient nutrient concentrations, showing no difference between the maximum uptake rates of the two species. However, half-saturations of nitrate and phosphate uptake kinetics in K. crassifolia were higher than those in L. japonica. Low water temperature (5°C) greatly restrained the nitrate and phosphate uptakes of both algae. Low irradiance (< 100 μE/m2 per s) restrained nitrate and phosphate uptakes only in L. japonica, although high irradiance (> 100 μE/m2 per s) caused no difference between the two species. The nitrate and phosphate uptake rates at low irradiance in K. crassifolia were 2-7 times higher than those in L. japonica. Light compensation and saturation irradiances in K. crassifolia were significantly lower than in L. japonica. These results indicate that K. crassifolia is able to take up carbon and nutrients at low irradiance, which suggests that the nutrient uptake characteristic of K. crassifolia could allow it to adapt to deeper habitats and even to high water turbidity.
Macronutrient self-selection patterns in rainbow trout and common carp, which were maintained in groups, were examined when both water temperature and duration of light phase gradually decreased. Three semipurified macronutrient diets composed mainly of protein (casein and gelatin; crude protein (CP)=65%), fat (pollock oil and soybean oil; crude fat (CF)=38%), or digestible carbohydrate (dextrin and gelatinized starch; crude starch (CS)=57%) were offered to five groups of trout (20 fish/group, 51 g/fish) and carp (15 fish/group, 36 g/fish) using three self-feeders. A standard diet (ST) containing the three macronutrients at an appropriate ratio (CP=47%, CF=14%, CS=25%) was also offered to three groups each by a single self-feeder. After an initial 3 weeks of experiencing a long photoperiod (14 h light: 10 h dark cycle) and high water temperature (trout, 17°C; carp, 25°C), the light phase and temperature were gradually decreased in the following 3 weeks to 10 h light: 14 h dark, and 8°C for trout and 13°C for carp, and feeding was continued for a further 3 weeks under low temperature and short photoperiod conditions. Growth and protein utilization parameters between the ST diet self-fed groups and macronutrient diet self-selection groups were not different (P>0.05) for both trout and carp. Trout preferred the high-protein diet (HP) to the high-fat and the high-carbohydrate diets (P<0.05) regardless of the changes in water temperature and photoperiod. Carp also preferred the HP diet (P<0.01) under the high temperature and long photoperiod conditions; however, this preference gradually disappeared with lower temperatures and shorter photoperiods. These results suggest that the most appropriate macronutrient ratios in carp diets change with environmental conditions.
The vertical distribution of dwarf ayu Plecoglossus altivelis altivelis in the pelagic waters of Lake Biwa was evaluated from June to September in 1995-97 from eight acoustic surveys using a quantitative echosounder. In each survey, echoes from a depth range of 3 m to the sea bottom were collected at a station every 2.7 s for 24 h together with measurements of vertical profiles of water temperature and chlorophyll-a. The ayu's echoes were identified using an underwater video camera. The ayu were observed near the maximum chlorophyll-a depth and above the thermocline. Their density was highest at depths of 4-11 m with 2-4 individuals/m3 and was almost zero below 20 m. Echo signs were recorded as having a frequent duration of more than 1 h at night, whereas were of a shorter duration in the day. The fish stay in the epilimnion during the day without any clear vertical migration, but are distributed more uniformly at night. The advantages of remaining in the epilimnion are discussed in terms of food availability and predator avoidance.
A sampling trawl with a rigid mouth; that is, the frame trawl, was designed so as to catch the large larval and juvenile fish more efficiently. The net consisted of four 13 m panels (nylon multifilament and twine diameter φ 0.75 mm, mesh size 8 mm). The frame of the net's mouth was composed of four stainless steel pipes (length 4 m, diameter φ 76 mm, thickness 5 mm). Several operations were conducted to investigate the capability of catching juveniles. A lot of Sardinops melanostictus juveniles, which are generally difficult to catch, were caught during every operation. Underwater observations proved that juveniles could not elude the capture. The frame trawl requires no special handling and is possible to operate in a rough sea.
Seasonal changes in the percentage of mature female Metapenaeopsis dalei were studied histologically, and the annual cycle of maturation and spawning of this species was discussed. Specimens were collected at night by a beam trawler in Tosa Bay (33°N, 133°E) during the period from April 1995 to March 1996. All individuals had a gonado somatic index [GSI = 100 (gonado weight/body weight)] of higher than 8, and 66.7% of those individuals with a GSI of 6-8 had oocytes in the late phase of the prematuration stage after germinal vesicle shrinking and migrating to the margin of the oocyte or had oocytes in the maturation stage. Such individuals with developed oocytes appeared in April, June, July, August, October, November and March. Individuals with a GSI above 6 appeared throughout the year, except during September and February. Individuals with ovulated oocytes were sampled in March when the water temperature near the bottom depths was lowest (15.4°C) during the year, being similar to February (15.1°C). These facts indicate that maturation occurs all year-round and suggests that spawning in the Metapenaeopsis dalei population in Tosa Bay occurs all year-round. This is the first report of year-round maturation in penaeid shrimps in Japanese waters.
Preference for artificial burrows by the endangered Japanese crayfish species Cambaroides japonicus was studied to improve its cultivation. The occupation of artificial burrows, which were made from straight polyvinyl chloride pipes of different internal diameters (Y, mm), by crayfishes of different total lengths (X, mm) was significantly (P<0.001, n=56) described by a linear regression: Y=0.49X+3.42 (19.0≤X≤70.2). Among burrows of different lengths [crayfish total length (TL)×1, ×2, ×3, and×4], crayfishes significantly preferred burrows that were greater than TL×3 (P<0.001, n=588).
The periodical changes of feed digesta contents in the digestive tracts and plasma free amino acid levels of yellowtail, Seriola quinqueradiata (average weight 690 g) were investigated at 0, 3, 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, and 48 h after feeding on three different types of diets. The diets were: (i) extruded pellets prepared using a large-sized twin screw extruder (SDP); (ii) pellets processed using a small-sized twin screw extruder (EP); and (iii) single moist pellets (SMP). Three types of experimental fish meal diets were formulated so as to have an almost similar ingredient composition, and were supplemented with crystalline methionine, lysine, and tryptophan. Digesta contents in the stomach of fish fed the SDP diet during the experimental period were highest, whereas fish fed the SMP diet were lowest, and the stomach digesta evacuation time was different for the different types of diets. This might be caused by the differences in the chemical and physical properties of the diets. The evacuation times of the feed digesta contents of the stomach influence those of the intestine. Three crystalline amino acids added to the diets seemed to be absorbed effectively into blood plasma immediately after feed intake irrespective of the diet types. Periodical changes in the plasma levels of methionine seemed to be linked to the feed digesta contents of the stomach. Therefore, it is suggested that utilization of supplemented methionine might be affected by diet characteristics which, in turn, influence the stomach digesta evacuation times.
Two feeding experiments were conducted to evaluate the feed quality of non-fish meal diets having the same protein ingredient composition but prepared as different types, and to determine the supplemental effect of crystalline essential amino acids (EAA) on feed utilization by young yellowtail, Seriola quinqueradiata. Non-fish meal diets formulated with soy protein concentrate, defatted soybean meal, corn gluten meal, meat meal, and krill meal were prepared as either soft dry pellets (SDP) or extruded pellets (EP) by using a large- or a small-sized twin screw extruder under different preparation conditions; or as a single moist pellet (SMP), each with and without EAA mixtures. Commercial yellowtail SDP was used as the control diet. Fish weighing 134 g and 237 g on average were reared with the experimental diets, for 93 (net cages) and 44 (aquariums) days, respectively. The fish fed both the control and test diets were found to have a good appetite. Growth rate and feed gain ratio were highest in the control diet group. The physiological condition of fish fed the control diet was evaluated as superior compared to those on the non-fish meal diets. Among the non-fish meal diet groups, the best performances were obtained for fish fed the SDP type diet with EAA supplement, and performance parameters excelled in the order of SDP, EP and SMP both among the diets with and without supplemental EAA. This suggests that the nutritional quality of non-fish meal diet was affected by the diet preparation method. It also indicates that supplementation of EAA could improve the quality of non-fish meal diets, irrespective of the diet type, probably as a result from the enhancement of feed protein utilization.
Adenocarcinomatous growths comprising glandular cavities surrounded by cuboidal to low columnar cells and a large amount of mucus produced by the mucous cells, were observed in the the gastric lymph nodes of a harbor seal Phoca largha. The seal was stranded on the coast of Toyama Bay, Sea of Japan, on 2 March, 1998. Necroscopic examination also showed the animal had significant signet ring cell carcinoma in the stomach, as has been reported elsewhere. The adenocarcinoma may have developed from metastatic cells arising in the gastric carcinoma.
We determined the complete nucleotide sequence of the mitochondrial genome for ayu, Plecoglossus altivelis. Two large DNA fragments covering the entire genome were amplified using a long polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique, and the products subsequently used as templates for PCR with 57 fish-versatile and five species-specific primers that amplify contiguous, overlapping segments of the entire genome. Direct sequencing of the PCR products demonstrated that the genome (16 537 bp) contained the same 37 mitochondrial genes (two ribosomal RNA, 22 transfer RNA, and 13 protein-coding genes) as those found in other vertebrates, with the gene order identical to that in typical vertebrates. A major non-coding region between the tRNAPro and tRNAPhe genes (857 bp) was considered to be the control region (D-loop), as it has several conservative blocks that are characteristic to this region.
To compare size and morphology of spermatozoa in cetaceans, sperm and epididymis samples were collected from 10 species in four families and spermatozoa were observed with phase-contrast and scanning electron microscopes. According to the average total length of the spermatozoa, the 10 species examined were classified into the following four groups in order of increasing size: (i) Baird's beaked (Ziphiidae) and Bryde's whales (Balaenopteridae); (ii) Dall's and finless porpoises (Phocoenidae); (iii) common, bottlenose, and Pacific white-sided dolphins (Delphinidae); and (iv) killer and short-finned pilot whales, and Risso's dolphin (Delphinidae). Spermatozoa head length of Bryde's whale and the finless porpoise were shorter than those of the other species. Spermatozoa head width was widest in the killer whale and thinnest in the Baird's beaked whale. The lateral aspects of sperm heads from the 10 species were characterized as the ‘anterior region of the sperm head is thin and flat while the posterior region is thick.’ The dorsal aspects of sperm heads were ‘paddle-shaped’ in Bryde's whales, ‘bowling pin-shaped’ in Baird's beaked whales, ‘Japanese fan-shaped’ in killer whales, an ‘elongated ellipsoid shape’ in Delphinidae except for killer whales, and ‘ellipsoid shaped’ in Phocoenidae. Size and morphology of the spermatozoa showed interspecific differences among the 10 species examined, which correspond to cetacean taxonomic classification.
Tissue type transglutaminase (TGase) was purified from scallop striated adductor muscle with successive chromatographies of DE-52 cellulose, Sephacryl S-300, and Mono Q columns. The yield and purification of the enzymatic activity was 16.6% and 101.9-fold, respectively. The molecular mass of purified enzyme was estimated to be 95 kDa by sodium dodecylsulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis. Scallop TGase was Ca2+-dependent and strongly inactivated by ρ-chloromercuribenzoic acid, N-ethylmaleimide, Cu2+, and Zn2+, meaning it belongs to the thiol group of enzymes as well as being a mammalian enzyme. When scallop TGase was incubated in 0.5 M NaCl without substrate for 2 h at 20°C and pH 7.5, enzymatic activity decreased to 14.4% of its original. However, a conformational change in the TGase molecule was not detected by either fluorescent, ultraviolet, and circular dichroism spectra analyses compared to the enzyme incubated without NaCl. In addition, the enzyme inactivated by NaCl was partially recovered by the dilution of salt concentration, which means that the NaCl-induced inactivation process is reversible to some extent. These results suggest that NaCl-induced modulation of the TGase molecule occurs via a small conformational change.
The texture and color properties of surimi gels consisting of pollack surimi, golden threadfin-bream surimi, and low-grade hairtail surimi in various ratios were determined based on a mixture design. Surimi gels were produced by heating at 90°C for 20 min with the addition of 2% NaCl. The texture and color properties of blended surimi from various grades can be represented as non-linear functions. Therefore, non-linear programming was found to be appropriate for determining the optimum formulation for surimi products blended from various grades of surimi. About 3.3% to 18.8% of hairtail surimi could be used when blending with high-grade surimi to produce surimi seafood.
Comparison of pectenotoxin (PTX) profiles between the toxic dinoflagellate Dinophysis acuta and scallops Pecten novaezelandiae collected at Wedge Point, Queen Charlotte Sound, New Zealand was carried out by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) with turbo-ionspray ionization. Although the major PTX homolog in D. acuta was pectenotoxin-2 (PTX2), the scallops contained pectenotoxin-2 seco acid (PTX2SA) as the predominant toxin. Pectenotoxin-2 isolated from D. acuta was rapidly converted to PTX2SA and its epimer 7-epi-pectenotoxin-2 seco acid (7-epi-PTX2SA) in the scallop extracts. These results indicate that PTX2SA and 7-epi-PTX2SA arose from the conversion of PTX2 by scallop tissue. The results indicate that New Zealand scallops have an ability to reduce the cytotoxicity of PTX2 by conversion to PTX2SA.
A calponin-like protein of 45 kDa was isolated from mussel anterior byssus retractor muscle (ABRM) and its inhibitory effects on actomyosin Mg2+-ATPase was demonstrated. The 2-D electrophoresis for ABRM myofibrils gave a spot of 45 kDa protein in addition to myofibrillar proteins such as myosin and actin. The 45 kDa protein, which was more basic and showed a slightly higher molecular weight than actin, was isolated by ion-exchange chromatography and subjected to chymotryptic digestion. N-terminal amino acid sequencing of polypeptide fragments produced gave two sequences, ASQKGMTSFGAVRHH and GMDRALISKMGSKYDSGL, both of which showed a high homology to those of vertebrate calponins and invertebrate calponin-related proteins. Furthermore, the 45 kDa protein strongly reacted with commercially available antibody raised against chicken smooth muscle calponin, demonstrating that the mussel ABRM 45 kDa protein is a new member of the calponin family. Then, actomyosin Mg2+-ATPase activity of ABRM was measured in the presence and absence of the 45 kDa protein. The 45 kDa protein clearly inhibited actomyosin Mg2+-ATPase activity in a dose-dependent manner as in the case of other vertebrate calponins. These results indicate that the 45 kDa calponin-like protein is involved in the thin filament-associated regulation of molluscan smooth muscle contraction, possibly of a unique contraction called catch.
We examined the distribution of two rainbow trout androgen receptors (rtAR: rtAR-α and rtAR-β) in the testis immunohistochemically using a specific antibody to clarify the target cells of androgen in spermatogenesis. Positive rtAR immunoreactivity in paraffin-embedded sections was revealed using microwave treatment, and was detected in the nuclei of Sertoli cells, Leydig cells, and other interstitial cells. The presence of rtAR in Leydig cells suggested that fish androgens regulate Leydig cell activity in an autocrine fashion similar to mammalian androgens. In addition, we found that not all Leydig cells exhibited rtAR immunoreactivity in the mature testis by double staining using anti-3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3β-HSD) antibody. Furthermore, rtAR immunoreactivity was also detected in the nuclei of spermatogonia, spermatocytes, and spermatids. The intensity of rtAR immunoreactivity in the nuclei of spermatogonia seemed to be weaker than those of spermatocytes and spermatids. These results suggested that androgens act directly on both germ cells and somatic cells in the regulation of spermatogenesis in the rainbow trout.
Japanese common squid meat was heat-treated at 80°C for 1 min, cured with 1.0 M sorbitol solution (pH7.0) at 4°C for 18h, and dried further at 30°C (60% relative humidity) for 16 h. Osmotic dehydration during the sorbitol curing process and slow moisture vaporization at the initial drying period were observed regardless of the heat denaturation of muscle protein. Simultaneously, lowering the amount of moisture vaporized in the falling rate of the drying period caused a shortening of the total drying time. Furthermore, the shear force of the dried product from heat-treated meat was kept at a lower value by sorbitol curing, although the suppression effect of sorbitol on the hardening of dried meat was lost by protein denaturation. These results are useful for understanding the role of sorbitol in reducing drying time and in eliminating excess hardening of dried squid products.