Swim bladder function and spawning migration of the eel

The European eel is a catadromous fish that spends most of its life in freshwater, ending its life cycle with the spawning migration to the Sargasso Sea. At the beginning of the spawning migration, a 'metamorphosis' (silvering) occurs from freshwater-adapted yellow eel to silver eel or silver eel, which completes the 4000-5000 km ocean migration. This transformation to silver eel involves osmotic, hormonal and histological modifications in various tissues. Changes in the swim bladder with retia mirabilia and specialized gas gland cells suggest enhanced functionality in silver eel. This project will analyze the molecular changes in the swim bladder that occur during 'metamorphosis' and the role of the swim bladder as a buoyancy organ during spawning migration.


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