Clark W, Leclercq E, Migaud H, Nairn J & Davie A (2016) Isolation, identification and characterisation of ballan wrasse Labrus bergylta plasma pigment. Journal of Fish Biology, 89 (4), pp. 2070-2084. https://doi.org/10.1111/jfb.13106
This study confirmed that observations of blue-green colouration in plasma fractions of the ballan wrasse Labrus bergylta were caused by the linear tetra-pyrrole biliverdin, and that the molecule was of the physiologically relevant IXα isomer. Accumulation appears driven by chromogenic association with an unknown protein moiety which precludes enzymatic reduction and would suggest active management. It was demonstrated that the pigment did not fluctuate relative to ontogeny, or indeed binary gender in the species of interest, but mobilisation and depletion in the subset of individuals undergoing sex change at the time of study supports a potential association with gender inversion processes. It is of note that although biliverdin does have some effect on external colouration, the evidence is indicative that crypsis is a supplementary function thus other factors must be considered.
Ballan wrasse; Blue serum; Biliverdin; Biliverdin Ixα; Biliverdin reductase; Bilirubin
Journal of Fish Biology: Volume 89, Issue 4