The effect of ploidy and incubation temperature on survival and the prevalence of aplasia of the septum transversum in Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L



Heart deformities are a concern in aquaculture and are linked to egg incubation temperature. Diploid and triploid Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., were incubated at 6, 8 and 10 °C and analysed for aplasia of the septum transversum (= 150 ploidy−1 incubation temperature−1). Heart morphology (size and shape) was assessed in fish incubated at 6 °C and in fish with and without aplasia of the septum transversum (= 9 group−1) incubated at 10 °C. Egg mortality was significantly higher in triploids than in diploids at all incubation temperatures, and increased egg incubation temperatures increased mortality in both ploidy. Triploids grew quicker than diploids after egg incubation at 10 °C, but not at 6 °C. Aplasia of the septum transversum occurred only in triploid fish after incubation at 6 °C and 8 °C (0.7% and 3.3%, respectively) and was significantly greater (≤ 0.05) in triploids after incubation at 10 °C compared with diploids (30% and 18%, respectively). Aplasia of the septum transversum significantly increased heart mass and resulted in a long flat ventricle compared with fish displaying a septum transversum. The results suggest triploid salmon should be incubated below 8 °C.