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Aerobic Respiration Rate and Anaerobic Enzymatic Activity of Petrolisthes Laevigatus (Anomura, Porcellanidae) under Laboratory Conditions

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Abstract Petrolisthes laevigatus is commonly found in the intertidal zone from southern Peru to southern Chile. Its geographic distribution and its location in the intertidal zone suggest that this species should have ample physiological and biochemical adaptability to environmental change. Several experiments were conducted on P. laevigatus specimens collected in south-central Chile (Coliumo Bay) to determine: (i) the relationship between specific oxygen consumption rate and temperature; (ii) the presence and activity of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), octopine dehydrogenase (OPDH), strombine dehydrogenase (STRDH), alanopine dehydrogenase (ALPDH), and alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH); and (iii) resistance to hypoxic conditions in sea water. The specific respiration rate at temperatures frequently found in Coliumo Bay was 0.054 and 0.058 ml O2h−1g−1 at 10.5°C and 13°C, respectively. LDH and OPDH activities were found in muscle tissue, heart, and visceral mass (midgut gland, gonad); OPDH presented a lower activity than LDH. Both enzymes presented high activities in comparison to other decapods. No activity was detected for ALPDH, STRDH, and ADH. Crabs subjected to low dissolved oxygen concentrations (i.e., 0.79 to 0.96 ml O2 l−1) died after three hours of exposure, and no oxygen consumption was detected during this period. Accordingly, P. laevigatus is not adapted to long-term conditions of environmental hypoxia. Nevertheless, compared to other decapod species, P. laevigatus can cope well with short-term environmental and/or functional hypoxia due to the high activity levels of LDH and OPDH and the presence of both enzymes in the heart.


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