In order to improve fish health and reduce use of chemotherapeutants in aquaculture production, the immunomodulatory effect of various nutritional ingredients has been explored. In salmon, there is evidence that functional feeds can reduce the abundance of sea lice. This study aimed to determine if there were consistent changes in the skin mucus proteome that could serve as a biomarker for dietary yeast cell wall extract. The effect of dietary yeast cell wall extract on the skin mucus proteome of Atlantic salmon was examined using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Forty-nine spots showed a statistically significant change in their normalised volumes between the control and yeast cell wall diets. Thirteen spots were successfully identified by peptide fragment fingerprinting and LC-MS/MS and these belonged to a variety of functions and pathways. To assess the validity of the results from the proteome approach, the gene expression of a selection of these proteins was studied in skin mRNA from two different independent feeding trials using yeast cell wall extracts. A calreticulin-like protein increased in abundance at both the protein and transcript level in response to dietary yeast cell wall extract. The calreticulin-like protein was identified as a possible biomarker for yeast-derived functional feeds since it showed the most consistent change in expression in both the mucus proteome and skin transcriptome. The discovery of such a biomarker is expected to quicken the pace of research in the application of yeast cell wall extracts.
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- Biological Sciences, Aberdeen Centre For Environmental Sustainability - Senior Lecturer
- Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS)