Article: article from journal or magazin.
Consumption of carotenoids not increased by bacterial infection in brown trout embryos (Salmo trutta).
Carotenoids are organic pigment molecules that play important roles in signalling, control of oxidative stress, and immunity. Fish allocate carotenoids to their eggs, which gives them the typical yellow to red colouration and supports their resistance against microbial infections. However, it is still unclear whether carotenoids act mainly as a shield against infection or are used up during the embryos' immune defence. We investigated this question with experimental families produced from wild-caught brown trout (Salmo trutta). Singly raised embryos were either exposed to the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas fluorescens or sham-treated at one of two stages during their development. A previous study on these experimental families reported positive effects of egg carotenoids on embryo growth and resistance against the infection. Here, we quantified carotenoid consumption, i.e. the active metabolization of carotenoids into compounds that are not other carotenoid types, in these infected and sham-infected maternal sib groups. We found that carotenoid contents mostly decreased during embryogenesis. However, these decreases were neither linked to the virulence induced by the pathogen nor dependent on the time point of infection. We conclude that egg carotenoids are not significantly used up by the embryos' immune defence.
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