Age estimation of Antarctic minke whales Balaenoptera bonaerensis based on aspartic acid racemization technique

Yasunaga, Genta; Pastene, Luis A.; Bando, Takeharu; Hakamada, Takashi; Fujise, Yoshihiro


Counting of the growth layers in the earplugs is the most accepted technique for determining chronological age of Antarctic minke whales; however, unreadable growth layers form in some individuals, especially in young animals. In this study, aspartic acid racemization (AAR) technique was developed for estimating ages in this species with the aim of complementing the age estimated using earplugs. To validate the technique and to determine the specific coefficients for age estimation, the ratio of d and l-enantiomers of aspartic acid (Asp D/L) in lens of 18 whales and 20 fetuses were analyzed and compared with earplug-based age estimates. The equation for age estimation by AAR in this species was as follows: Log(e){[1 + (Asp D/L)(act)]/[1 - (Asp D/L)(act)]} = 2.30 x 10(-3) x earplug age (year) + 0.0201 (p 0.001, r (2) = 0.918). There is a strong correlation between the age estimates by AAR and earplugs. This study was successful in developing the AAR technique for the Antarctic minke whale, and the application of this technique can complement the age estimation of this species based on earplug readings, especially for young animals with unreadable earplugs.

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Título según WOS: ID WOS:000416559900010 Not found in local WOS DB
Título de la Revista: FISHERIES SCIENCE
Volumen: 83
Número: 6
Fecha de publicación: 2017
Página de inicio: 947
Página final: 954


Notas: ISI