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Effects of diet, ultraviolet exposure, and gender on the ultraviolet absorbance of fish mucus and ocular structures
Zamzow, J.P. (2004). Effects of diet, ultraviolet exposure, and gender on the ultraviolet absorbance of fish mucus and ocular structures. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 144(6): 1057-1064. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-003-1286-2
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

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  • Zamzow, J.P.

Abstract
    Ultraviolet (UV) radiation can be damaging to fish skin and ocular components. Coral reef fishes are regularly exposed to potentially harmful radiation. It was recently discovered that tropical marine fishes possess UV-absorbing compounds in their mucus. This experiment demonstrates significant effects of both diet and ultraviolet exposure on the UV-absorbing compounds in the mucus of a tropical wrasse, Thalassoma duperrey. Fish that are exposed to UV radiation increase the UV absorbance of their mucus only if UV-absorbing compounds are provided in their diet. Fish that are protected from UV radiation decrease the UV absorbance of their mucus regardless of diet. Mucus from female T. duperrey absorbed less UV and females had higher rates of skin damage than males. Females sequester UV-absorbing compounds in their pelagic eggs as well as their epithelial mucus, whereas males do not sequester these compounds in the testes. Spectral transmission through the whole eye was not affected by diet or UV manipulations, but corneal tissue transmission decreased significantly in the UV-exposed individuals. These results demonstrate that coral reef fish can adapt to UV exposure, so long as UV-absorbing compounds are available in the diet.

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