Fractionation of carbon isotopes during fatty acid metabolism in Atlantic pollock (Pollachius virens)
AuCoin, Lacey R
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Feeding experiments were conducted on Atlantic pollock (Pollachius virens) to examine the variability in tissue fatty acid (FA) composition and stable carbon isotope fractionation of FA during digestion, assimilation and mobilization of lipids. The FA profiles and compound-specific carbon isotopes of chylomicrons, liver, muscle and fasted serum were compared to diet. FA analysis demonstrated similarity among tissue groups despite differences in feeding states. The FA results indicate the blood of post-prandial fish may serve as an alternative to tissue biopsies for the estimation of marine fish diets with compound-specific isotope analysis (CSIA). Despite similarity among FA profiles, the carbon isotope discrimination factors of FA varied independently, which suggests that fractionation is influenced by the degree to which individual FA are oxidized. These results provide preliminary information that is necessary in order to use CSIA to estimate the effects of fish diets.