• lipid class unsaturation;
  • temperature adaptation;
  • rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)


The adaptative changes in the fatty acid composition of the main lipid classes in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) edible flesh in response to environmental variation in water temperature were investigated. The research was carried out on intensively farmed trout sampled at different times of the year. Neutral lipids (NL), phosphatidylcholine (PC) and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) were separated using flash chromatography. Compared with summer acclimatisation, a decrease in neutral lipids of about 19% was observed in winter, accompanied by increases in phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylcholine of about 41 and 29%, respectively. The metabolic adjustment in cold adaptation caused an increase in the levels of unsaturated fatty acids and monoenes of the oleic acid ω9 family and an increase in the levels of unsaturated fatty acids of the linoleic acid ω3 family. At the same time a reduction in the levels of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids of the oleic acid ω9 family was observed. This pattern turned out to be particularly evident in phosphatidylcholine. The net result of these changes in composition was a significant increase in the polyunsaturated/saturated and polyunsaturated/monoenic fatty acid ratios in the edible flesh. Copyright © 2003 Society of Chemical Industry