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Effect of dissolved oxygen level on respiratory metabolism, nutritional physiology, and immune condition of southern king crab Lithodes santolla (Molina, 1782) (Decapoda, Lithodidae)
Paschke, K.; Cumillaf, J.P.; Loyola, S.; Gebauer, P.; Urbina, M.; Chimal, M.E.; Pascual, C.; Rosas, C. (2010). Effect of dissolved oxygen level on respiratory metabolism, nutritional physiology, and immune condition of southern king crab Lithodes santolla (Molina, 1782) (Decapoda, Lithodidae). Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 157(1): 7-18. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-009-1291-1
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Paschke, K.
  • Cumillaf, J.P.
  • Loyola, S.
  • Gebauer, P.
  • Urbina, M.
  • Chimal, M.E.
  • Pascual, C.
  • Rosas, C.

Abstract
    Episodes of hypoxia are common in the marine environment, and their ecological effects depend, in part, on their severity and duration. Many species of decapod crustaceans reside in areas with fluctuating oxygen regimens. Physiological mechanisms enhance the ability of these crustaceans to cope with acute episodes of hypoxia. Southern king crab, Lithodes santolla, fishery is important in the south of South America, and some data describe fishing zones with low dissolved oxygen (DO) levels (3.5 mgO2 l-1, i.e., 8.3 kPa). Our main objective was to evaluate the effect of dissolved oxygen level on respiratory metabolism, nutritional physiology, and immunological condition of L. santolla juveniles. Individual animals were exposed for 10 days to different oxygen tensions (2.1, 4.2, 8.5, 12.7, and 21.1 kPa) to quantify the oxygen consumption rate; thereafter, blood oxyhemocyanin (Hc), protein concentration, as well as hemocytes, were sampled. Freeze-dried animals were dissected, and digestive gland metabolites (glycogen, protein, glucose, cholesterol, acylglycerol, and lactate) and digestive enzyme activity (general protease, trypsin, and chymotrypsin), as well as gill lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity, were quantified. In the present study, Lithodes santolla showed a critical oxygen tension between 4 and 9 kPa, indicating that this crab species is more sensitive to DO than other crustacean species. Protein and Hc concentrations followed a similar pattern to that of oxygen consumption. Digestive gland glycogen and protein concentration did not change after 10 days at different oxygen exposures, but glucose, cholesterol, and acylglycerol concentrations decreased linearly and proportionally to the available oxygen in the water. As in other decapods, chymotrypsin showed over 90% of the total quantified proteases activity. Chymotrypsin activity together with total proteases and trypsin was not affected by the environmental oxygen tension. Gill LDH and digestive gland lactate followed a similar increase at lower environmental oxygen tension but dropped sharply at the lowest tension (2.1 kPa). Dissolved oxygen affected also the immune system through reduction of hemocytes. This could provide a critical window for opportunistic pathogens to become established when crabs are exposed to hypoxic conditions. L. santolla juveniles show a moderate tolerance to low oxygen availability by modifying the concentration of hemolymph proteins, mainly OxyHc, some digestive gland metabolites, and by activating the anaerobic metabolism. This allows L. santolla juveniles to inhabit temporarily low oxygen zones in the deep ocean and suggests an advantage for culture conditions.

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