Biological and Ecological Roles of External Fish Mucus: A Review

We describe the different biological (antimicrobial, immune-related, and UV protection roles of the fish mucus components as well as the fish mucus roles in intra and interspecific interactions

Miriam Reverter; Nathalie Tapissier-Bontemps; David Lecchini; Bernard Banaigs; Pierre Sasal

2018

Scholarcy highlights

  • External mucus is the main surface of exchange between fish and their surrounding environment, and plays a key role in intra- and interspecific chemical communication .Mucus acts as a dynamic physical and biochemical barrier, displaying numerous biological and ecological roles such as osmoregulation, protection against abrasion, protection against environmental toxins and heavy metal toxicity, parental feeding, protection against pathogens, and chemical communication
  • We describe the different biological
  • We review and evaluate the use of the different “omics” technologies on fish mucus research and their potential to discover novel mucus components and deepen the understanding of the fish mucus functions
  • The study of fish mucus components has exploded in recent years, but there are still numerous mucus components that need further research in order to better characterize the molecules present, and to clarify their roles
  • We have discussed the multiple roles of mucus in organism interactions in nature, highlighting the ecological importance of mucus and the need to identify the molecules responsible for these interactions
  • Identifying the molecules responsible for the chemical mediation between fish mucus and other organisms will allow a deeper understanding of marine ecosystem dynamics and will give new insights in the management of parasites in aquaculture
  • A better understanding of the shifts and changes in mucus due to biological and physical stressors could help to prevent fish disease outbreaks and to monitor the health of the marine environment

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