Acta Vet. Brno 2015, 84: 159-166

Epidermis structure in the brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) and its Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) hybrid

Karel Halačka1, Radovan Kopp2, Ondřej Klíma2, Jan Mareš2

1Institute of Vertebrate Biology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, v.v.i., Brno, Czech Republic
2Mendel University in Brno, Department of Fisheries and Hydrobiology, Czech Republic

Received June 13, 2014
Accepted November 26, 2014

Brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) is a species of fish native to North-East America. Brook trout are also commercially raised in large numbers for food production. Skin infection and/or parasite outbreaks can have a serious economics effect on aquaculture businesses. For this reason, it has been hybridized with the more resistant Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus). The aim of this study was an examination of the epidermal structure and dynamic in brook trout and its Arctic char hybrid which is less sensitive to skin infection. The samples of fish (72 brook trout, 72 brook trout × Arctic char hybrid) from fish farm in Pravíkov (49°19’10”N, 15°5’40”E) were collected five times during the year 2011. Absolute and relative epidermal thickness (in relation to body size) and relative proportion of secretory cells in a given volume of epidermis were measured. The epidermis structure of brook trout and brook trout × Arctic char hybrid both display similar seasonal dynamics, with a decrease in absolute and relative epidermal thickness and a reduction in the relative percentage of mucous secretory cells over the summer. On the other hand, the lower absolute (mean 103 µm (range 84–146 µm) in brook trout; 88 µm (range 68–115 µm) in hybrids) and relative epidermal thickness (mean 4.8 (range 3.6–6.8) in brook trout; 4.4 (range 2.9–6.4) in hybrids) and lower volume of secretory cells was observed to the hybrid (mean 28% (range 19–33%) in brook trout; 23% (range 10–30%) in hybrids). It can interrelate with their higher resistance to infection and/or parasite outbreaks.


This study was supported by the grant No. QI91C001 and QJ1210013 National Agency for Agricultural Research - Ministry of Agriculture.


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