Can amino acid racemization be utilized for fish age validation?

Derek W. Chamberlin, Virginia R. Shervette, Darrell S. Kaufman, Jordon E. Bright, William F. Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We investigated the relationship between aspartic acid d:l ratios and otolith-derived age estimates in Gulf of Mexico red snapper, Lutjanus campechanus (ages 1–26 years; R2 = 0.89) and Caribbean yellowtail snapper, Ocyurus chrysurus (ages 2–17 years; R2 = 0.84). The estimated racemization rate was 0.61 × 10−3 year−1 for red snapper and 1.28 × 10−3 year−1 for yellowtail snapper, reflecting temperature differences between study regions. Mean jackknifed error in ages predicted from aspartic acid d:l was 1.70 ± 0.39 years for red snapper and 1.57 ± 0.41 years for yellowtail snapper. Results suggest amino acid racemization may be an effective tool for direct age estimation and potentially age validation in fishes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)642-647
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • age validation
  • amino acid racemization
  • eye lens
  • reef fish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science


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