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In the Great Lakes, lake trout eggs suffer from a deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B1). Thiamine Deficiency Complex (TDC) results in fry mortality and is caused by adult female lake trout consuming prey fish with high levels of thiaminase, an enzyme that breaks down thiamine. Postdoctoral research associate Allison Evans is identifying trophic pathways associated with high levels of thiaminase and potential sources of thiaminase in food webs. The overarching goal is to use the results of this work to enhance lake trout restoration efforts.
Did you know? This species suffers from a vitamin deficiency caused by consuming large amounts of prey fish that contain a vitamin-degrading protein. Lake trout are culturally, economically, and ecologically important in the Great Lakes. Although lake trout rehabilitation in the Great Lakes has been challenging, lake trout are successful invaders elsewhere.
Evans, Allison N. 2016. The Ecophysiology of Thiamine Deficiency Complex: Evaluating Sources of Thiaminase in Great Lakes Food Webs. PhD Dissertation. Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Oregon State University. Corvallis, OR.