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The information on the circadian characteristics of catfish in shoals is scanty. We examined the circadian locomotor activity rhythm of catfish Heteropneustes fossilis either singly housed (SS1) or in shoals of four (SS4) and six (SS6) under different light regimens. We carried out the study sequentially under LD1 (12:12), constant darkness (DD), LD2, continuous light (LL), LD3, and DL (12:12). Each condition was for at least 10-12 consecutive days. We analyzed the time-series data by employing Cosinor rhythmometry to detect circadian rhythm characteristics in locomotor activity at a fixed time window with a τ = 24 h. Results indicated that singly housed or shoals exhibited statistically significant (p < .001) circadian rhythm in locomotor activity under LD conditions with a higher activity level during the dark phase. Further, we observed free-running rhythms in locomotor activity under DD and LL, irrespective of the shoal sizes. In phase inverse DL, both singly housed and shoals demonstrated higher activity in the dark phase. The two-way ANOVA results revealed a significant effect of the factor 'light regimen' on amplitude and acrophase; the factor 'shoal size' produced a statistically significant impact on the mesor only. Both shoals showed significantly higher mesor than singly housed fish. The circadian amplitude declined under constant conditions of DD and LL. The locomotor activity rhythm exhibited a free-running pattern with a τFR greater than 24 h under both DD and LL conditions. We conclude that light is a more prominent factor for the entrainment of circadian activity in catfish H. fossilis. However, the extent of social aggregation (shoal size) has little or no effects on the characteristics of circadian locomotor activity rhythm in H. fossilis.

Citation

Pratibha Kujur, Atanu Kumar Pati, Arti Parganiha. Locomotor activity rhythm in catfish Heteropneustes fossilis as a function of shoal size under different light regimens. Chronobiology international. 2021 Dec;38(12):1726-1737


PMID: 34180313

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