Early Life Stage Mortality Syndrome in Fishes of the Great Lakes and Baltic Sea

Effects of Thiamine Treatments on Survival of M74-Affected Feral Baltic Salmon

P. Amcoff, H. Börjeson, R. Eriksson, and L. Norrgren

doi: https://doi.org/10.47886/9781888569087.ch5

Abstract.—Since 1974, feral salmon Salmo salar populations of the Baltic Sea have suffered from a yolk sac fry mortality known as the M74 syndrome. Mortality rates of 40–95% have been recorded during the 1990s in compensatory rearing stations along the east coast of Sweden. The M74 syndrome has been linked to the offspring of specific females and associated with low thiamine (vitamin B1) concentrations in both female tissues and their progeny. This study evaluated the effect of thiamine treatments on mortality and thiamine concentrations in progeny with and without M74. Eggs and newly hatched yolk sac fry were immersed in water containing thiamine at concentrations of 100, 500, or 2,000 mg/L. Hardening of eggs in water containing thiamine at 500 or 2,000 mg/L completely eliminated M74-related mortality, whereas treatment with thiamine at 100 mg/L only partially reduced M74 mortality. The mean thiamine concentrations at the yolk sac fry stage (21–23 d after hatching) in untreated normal and M74-affected groups were between 0.70–1.0 and 0.19–0.26 nmol/g, respectively. At the same sampling, the mean thiamine concentrations in groups in which eggs were waterhardened in thiamine at 500 or 2,000 mg/L were between 0.8 and 9.4 times higher than the concentrations in the untreated groups. A thiamine threshold limit interval of 0.34–0.47 nmol/g was estimated for the development of M74 in yolk sac fry.