Acclimation of rainbow trout to 5, 15 and 22 degrees C for periods exceeding 4 months had no significant effect on the oxygen affinity of whole blood or on the concentration of ATP, which is the main organic phosphate in red cells. Slight differences were, however, found in the oxygenation properties of the haemolysates, which correlate with changes in the relative concentration of the multiple haemoglobins. The oxygen-binding properties of the main haemoglobin components account for the observed differences in the haemolysates. The possible thermoacclimatory significance of changes in haemoglobin multiplicity and co-factor concentrations is discussed.

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