Swimbladder function and the spawning migration of the European eel

The European eel is catadrome fish. After spending most of his time in freshwater the yellow eel metamorphosis to the silver eel and starts a spawning migration of 5000-7000 km to the Sargasso Sea. During silvering structural and functional changes in the swimbladder are observed, resulting in an improvement of swimbladder performance. In this project we focus on the molecular changes that occur in swimbladder gas gland tissue during silvering and analyze how the swimbladder contributes to the diurnal vertical migrations that eels perform during their spawning migration. We also assess the influence of an infection of the swimbladder with the nematode Anguillicoloides crassus on these silvering induced changes in gas gland tissue. Because the swimbladder at depth faces very high oxygen partial pressures the project also analyzes how the swimbladder tissue can prevent tissue damage due to the excessive formation of reactive oxygen species or, alternatively, how the formation of reactive oxygen species under high oxygen partial pressures can be prevented.

Swimbladder function and the spawning migration of the European eel

Members of this workgroup are

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