Academic article

Essential fatty acids in Atlantic salmon: time course of changes in fatty acid composition of liver, blood and carcass induced by a diet deficient in n-3 and n-6 fatty acids

Ruyter, Bente; Røsjø, Camilla; Einen, Olai; Thomassen, Magny S.

Publication details

Journal: Aquaculture Nutrition, vol. 6, p. 109–117–9, 2000

Publisher: Blackwell Publishing

Issue: 2

International Standard Numbers:
Printed: 1353-5773
Electronic: 1365-2095

Open Access: none


Atlantic salmon fry (4 g) were fed a semi-synthetic diet devoid of n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) for 4 months. External signs of nutritional imbalance during the period were slow growth rate and increased mortality. Some symptoms of essential fatty acid deficiency appeared in the fatty acid composition of the blood and liver during the fourth month. At that time, the percentages of n-3 and n-6 PUFA of triacylglycerols (TAG) were nearly exhausted, and the percentages of 22:6 n-3 and of 20:5 n-3 in phospholipids (PL) showed a marked decrease. This decrease in the PUFA level of the PL was paralleled by the appearance of 20:3 n-9, whereas in the TAG an increase in the percentage of 18:1 n-9 was observed. After 4 months the monounsaturated fatty acid 18:1 n-9 constituted nearly 50% of the fatty acids in the TAG fraction of the liver. The time course of the changes in fatty acid composition of liver and blood lipids was quite similar, whereas the carcass lipid composition appeared to respond slowly to a diet devoid of essential fatty acids.