Dietary cobalt supplementation improves growth and body composition and induces the expression of growth and stress response genes in Tor putitora

  • Naima Younus
  • Amina ZuberiEmail author
  • Ania Rashidpour
  • Isidoro MetónEmail author


A 90-day randomized feeding experiment was performed to assess the effects of dietary cobalt (Co) supplementation on the growth performance, muscle composition, status of iron and manganese in the muscle as well as the expression of growth-related genes in the muscle (myoblast determination protein 1 homolog (MyoD) and myogenin) and the stress-related gene heat shock protein 70 KDa (Hsp-70) in the liver of mahseer (Tor putitora). Feeding trial was conducted in triplicate under controlled semi-static conditions, and graded levels of dietary cobalt (0.5–3 mg/kg) were fed to six groups of advanced fry of T. putitora. The results obtained indicated a curvilinear relationship of dietary Co levels with body crude protein content and weight gain (%). A positive correlation was observed with up to 2 mg Co/kg diet. However, a decreasing trend was found with values over 2 mg Co/kg diet. The expression of muscle growth biomarkers MyoD and myogenin showed a similar response, upregulation up to 2 mg Co/kg diet and decreased expression at 3 mg Co/kg diet. Indeed, the highest dietary Co supplementation increased the expression of Hsp-70, a key gene expressed in response to stress. Moreover, the muscle content of iron and manganese showed an inverse relationship with the dietary Co supplementation. Our findings suggest that 2 mg/kg Co dietary supplementation stimulates myogenesis and optimize muscle growth and body composition, while higher levels enhanced the expression of stress response genes and impaired growth of T. putitora.


Cobalt chloride Myoblast determination protein 1 homolog Myogenin Heat shock protein 70 KDa Mahseer 



The work was supported by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan under the International Research Support Initiative Program (IRSIP).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fisheries and Aquaculture program, Department of Animal SciencesQuaid-i-Azam UniversityIslamabadPakistan
  2. 2.Secció de Bioquímica i Biologia Molecular, Departament de Bioquímica i FisiologiaUniversitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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