Scientia Marina, Vol 73, No S1 (2009)

Use of biochemical indices for analysis of growth in juvenile two-spotted gobies (Gobiusculus flavescens) of the Baltic Sea

Andrea Frommel
Leibniz-Institute for Marine Sciences IFM-GEOMAR, Germany

Catriona Clemmesen
Leibniz-Institute for Marine Sciences IFM-GEOMAR, Germany


Multiple biochemical measurements were evaluated as an indirect measure of juvenile fish growth rate. Juvenile two-spotted gobies, Gobiusculus flavescens (Fabricius), caught in the Kiel Bight, were incubated in a temperature gradient table at 7 different temperatures ranging from 9 to 22.7°C for up to 28 days and sampled weekly. RNA/DNA ratios (RNA/DNA), protein and lipid amounts were measured in whole fish homogenates and compared with calculated weight-based growth rates of the individuals. RNA/DNA values were not significantly correlated with weight-specific growth rates. Lipid- and protein-based growth rates, on the other hand, were highly correlated with weight-specific growth (R2 of 0.4-0.5) and lipid-based growth rate explained 45.8% variability of weight-based growth in a linear growth model. Weight-based growth rates showed a dome-shaped relationship to temperature with a maximum around 16°C, a trend mirrored in lipid-based growth rates. The results indicate a stage-dependent shift in energy storage and metabolism with a decoupling of RNA/DNA as an index of weight-based growth rate as the juvenile gobies mature and lipids become the main determinant of weight-based growth in these fish.


Gobiusculus flavescens; juveniles; temperature; growth; RNA/DNA; biochemical indicators

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