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Salmon smoltification

Smoltification is affected by a number of factors such as light, temperature, water quality and genetics. PHARMAQ Analytiq has analysed several hundred thousand smolts since our start up in 2001.

With the increasing focus on production of larger smolt and constant development of production methods involving large recirculating installations and seawater intake, there is a need for new, more detailed analysis tools for objective measurement of smoltification. Large smolt can exhibit a more unpredictable smoltification progression than smolt of traditional size and therefore do not necessarily respond as expected to light control. Hence it is important to be able to use analysis tools which provide results of higher resolution than the traditional ATPase analysis.

Photograph of ATPase test tube

Analysis of gill tissue reveals the seawater tolerance of the fish.

SmoltVision is a real-time RT-PCR method that is based on measurement of the gene expression which is active during smoltification in various species of Atlantic salmon. In practice this means that we can draw conclusions about whether imminent enzyme activity in the gill tissue will be characterised by freshwater ATPase, seawater ATPase or a combination of the two. SmoltVision enables us to get an earlier warning of abnormal smoltification progression as well as being able to see evidence of underlying factors that may affect smoltification, such as problems with water quality or disease. An additional advantage of the analysis is that in cases where disease may be suspected, ordinary PCR analysis can be performed on the same test material, thereby saving time and avoiding taking new samples.

SmoltVision is a valuable analysis tool for anybody who might experience unexpected incidents in the production process, who wants additional information about their smolt, or who wishes to build up a database regarding optimal and abnormal smoltification progression applying to their hatchery and their fish.

 Feel free to contact your customer service representative for more information about SmoltVision.

Analysis results will be available in the course of three days, or in one business day in the case of urgent tests.

Elise Hjelle
Product Manager Smolt


In the first part of the article we summarise some of the experience we have had with smolt production in 2016 and look more closely at some challenges which may arise during smolt production.

SmoltVision - read the story

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