Characterization of the digestive tract of wild ayu

Heisuke Nakagawa, Tetsuya Umino, Takashi Sekimoto, Irfan Ambas, W. Linn Montgomery, Taketo Nakano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The gut and gut contents of ayu Plecoglossus altivelis caught in the Ohta River in Hiroshima prefecture, Japan were examined. Relative intestine length (intestine length/body length) was almost constant. Except for relative intestine length, characteristics of the gut of wild ayu were not significantly different from those of cultured ayu. The height of intestinal folds increased and their width declined from stomach to anus. Cyanobacteria (Homoeathrix sp. and Calothrix sp.) and diatoms (Cymbella sp., Gomphonema sp., Melosira sp., Navicula sp., and Synedra sp.) were well digested during passage through the gut despite a lack of apparent destruction. In contrast, green algae (Dictyosphearium sp., Coelastrum sp., and Pediastrum sp.) exhibited little degradation. The pH of stomach contents ranged from 2.8 to 7.4 (mean±SD = 4.1±1.0), whereas that of the posterior intestine was 7.0-8.5 (7.9±0.4). Gut contents of wild ayu increased with bodyweight, and were more than threefold greater than those of cultured ayu, suggesting that wild ayu compensate for low nutrient content of algae through the continuous ingestion of large quantities of feed organisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-346
Number of pages6
JournalFisheries Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


  • Ayu
  • Digestive organ
  • Ingestion
  • Microalgae
  • Plecoglossus altivelis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science


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