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Physiological validation of scale cortisol in carp (Cyprinus carpio) as biomarker for chronic stress

StressChron Framework:

Project code 021
Role Coordinator
Research area Unravelling the fundamentals of glucocorticoid actions across vertebrates
Research topic Mechanism(s) of glucocorticoid incorporation
Vertebrate Fish
Species Carp (Cyprinus carpio)


The research goal is to physiologically validate scale cortisol as biomarker for chronic stress in carp (Cyprinus carpio). Scales as a matrix are easy and non-invasive to sample. Hence, it is possible to evaluate the stress level and more broader the animal welfare over an extended period of time in an objective, animal-friendly but also logistically and financially feasible way on a large scale.


Keywords: aquaculture, fish, biomarker, stress, cortisol, scale

Funding: Internal

Status: Finalized


Ghent University, Belgium (Aerts J, De Saeger S, Decostere A)

Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Belgium (Aerts J, Ampe B)

Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands (Flik G, Metz JR)


Aerts J, Metz JR, Ampe B, Decostere A, Flik G, De Saeger S (2015) Scales Tell a Story on the Stress History of Fish. PLoS ONE 10(4): e0123411. (Q1 - IF=3.534)

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