Title

Why are salmon eggs red? An investigation of the benefits of red carotenoid-based pigmentation in the eggs and offspring of Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha).

Date of Award

2005

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.Sc.

Department

Biological Sciences

Keywords

Biology, Ecology.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Red carotenoid-based pigmentation is characteristic of salmonid eggs. Though this incurs metabolic costs for maternal accumulation/allocation, and increases predation risk to the eggs, to date there has been no empirically supported adaptive explanation documenting benefits to offset the costs of red egg pigmentation in salmonids. This study investigates relationships between maternal egg carotenoid concentrations and measures of survival and immune function in larval and juvenile salmon. Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) possess a rare genetic polymorphism resulting in red- and white-fleshed phenotypes representing the most diverse range of naturally occurring flesh and egg carotenoid-based pigmentation known in any single salmonid species. In this study Chinook salmon eggs representing a wide range of carotenoid pigmentation were selected, fertilized and reared as maternal families following standard hatchery protocols with incubation survival measured. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)Dept. of Biological Sciences. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2005 .T963. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 44-03, page: 1282. Thesis (M.Sc.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2005.