Plasma proteome profiling of freshwater and seawater life stages of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Bernat Morro, Mary K. Doherty, Pablo Balseiro, Sigurd O. Handeland, Simon Mackenzie, Harald Sveier, Amaya Albalat, James P. Meador (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
141 Downloads (Pure)


The sea-run phenotype of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), like other anadromous salmonids, present a juvenile stage fully adapted to life in freshwater known as parr. Development in freshwater is followed by the smolt stage, where preadaptations needed for seawater life are developed making fish ready to migrate to the ocean, after which event they become post-smolts. While these three life stages have been studied using a variety of approaches, proteomics has never been used for such purpose. The present study characterised the blood plasma proteome of parr, smolt and post-smolt rainbow trout using a gel electrophoresis liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry approach alone or in combination with low-abundant protein enrichment technology (combinatorial peptide ligand library). In total, 1,822 proteins were quantified, 17.95% of them being detected only in plasma post enrichment. Across all life stages, the most abundant proteins were ankyrin-2, DNA primase large subunit, actin, serum albumin, apolipoproteins, hemoglobin subunits, hemopexin-like proteins and complement C3. When comparing the different life stages, 17 proteins involved in mechanisms to cope with hyperosmotic stress and retinal changes, as well as the downregulation of nonessential processes in smolts, were significantly different between parr and smolt samples. On the other hand, 11 proteins related to increased growth in post-smolts, and also related to coping with hyperosmotic stress and to retinal changes, were significantly different between smolt and post-smolt samples. Overall, this study presents a series of proteins with the potential to complement current seawater-readiness assessment tests in rainbow trout, which can be measured non-lethally in an easily accessible biofluid. Furthermore, this study represents a first in-depth characterisation of the rainbow trout blood plasma proteome, having considered three life stages of the fish and used both fractionation alone or in combination with enrichment methods to increase protein detection.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0227003
Pages (from-to)e0227003
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2020


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