Lee, J.-W., Balasubramanian, B. 2023. Impacts of temperature on the growth, feed utilization, stress, and hemato-immune responses of cherry salmon (Oncorhynchus masou). Animals 13(24), 3870.

Cherry salmon (Oncorhynchus masou) hold commercial value in aquaculture, and there is a need for controlled laboratory studies to isolate the specific effects of temperature on their growth, feeding, and well-being. We examined the effects of different temperatures (10 °C, 14 °C, 18 °C, and 22 °C) on juvenile cherry salmon (average mass 29.1 g) in triplicate tanks per treatment over eight weeks. The key parameters assessed included growth rate, feed efficiency, stress response, and hemato-immune responses. Our objectives were to determine the most and less favorable temperatures among the four designated temperatures and to assess the adverse effects associated with these less favorable temperatures. The results showed that body weight, growth rates, feed intake, and feed efficiency were significantly higher at 10 °C and 14 °C compared to 18 °C and 22 °C. Reduced appetite and feeding response were observed at 22 °C. Red blood cell parameters were significantly lower at 22 °C. At 10 °C, the results showed significantly increased plasma cortisol levels, gill Na+/K+-ATPase activity, body silvering, and decreased condition factors, suggesting potential smoltification. The potential smoltification decreased with increasing temperatures and disappeared at 22 °C. Furthermore, the plasma lysozyme concentrations significantly increased at 18 °C and 22 °C. In conclusion, our study identifies 10 °C and 14 °C as the temperatures most conducive to growth and feed performance in juvenile cherry salmon under these experimental conditions. However, temperatures of 22 °C or higher should be avoided to prevent compromised feeding, reduced health, disturbed immune responses, impaired growth, and feed performance.

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