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Seasonal changes in nucleic acids, amino acids and protein content in juvenile Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus)
Rosa, R.; Nunes, M.L. (2003). Seasonal changes in nucleic acids, amino acids and protein content in juvenile Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus). Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 143(3): 565-572.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Rosa, R.
  • Nunes, M.L.

    The objective of this study was to describe the seasonal variations in nucleic acid contents and amino acid profiles in the muscle of juvenile Nephrops norvegicus. RNA and protein contents, and RNA:protein and RNA:DNA ratios varied significantly between seasons, being highest in spring and lowest in autumn/winter (P<0.05). Though DNA content increased significantly from autumn to summer (P<0.05), protein:DNA ratio did not show significant seasonal variations (P=0.05). In respect to protein-bound amino acid content (BAA), a significant increase was observed from winter to summer (P<0.05). Both essential (EAA) and non-essential amino acids (NEAA) increased significantly (27.6% and 27.8%, respectively; P<0.05), mainly due to the considerable increase in arginine and proline (59.1% and 225.2%, respectively; P<0.05). A significant decrease was observed in the free amino acid content (FAA) from winter to summer (P<0.05); and a higher percentage decrease occurred in free non-essential (FNEAA; 27.9%) in comparison to free essential amino acids (FEAA; 21.8%). The significant increase in RNA and BAA contents from winter to spring may be related to protein synthesis. On the other hand, the lowest values obtained in winter may be due to a reduction in feeding activity; in this period the muscle protein must be progressively hydrolysed, which is evident with the higher FAA content. The liberated amino acids enter the FAA pool and become available for energy production.

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