The Use of Lipid Biomarkers in Euphausia superba as a Parameter for Determining Energy Flow in the Antarctic Marine Food WebEntry ID: ASAC_712
Abstract: From the abstracts of some of the referenced papers:
During a period of short-term (19 days) starvation, total lipid in the digestive gland of Euphausia superba Dana decreased from 21 to 9% dry weight. Total lipid per digestive gland decreased significantly during starvation compared to Day 0 individuals, falling from 1960 (plus or minus 172) TO 385 (plus or minus 81) micrograms. Polar lipid was ... the major lipid class utilised during starvation, falling from 1510 (plus or minus 225) to 177 (plus or minus 46) micrograms per digestive gland (76 to 45%). Absolute levels of tricylglycerol fell from 300 (plus or minus 41) to 76 (plus or minus 5) micrograms; however, relative levels remained unchanged. The relative level of free fatty acid increased significantly with starvation (4 to 39%) with absolute levels ranging from 79 (plus or minus 1) to 156 (plus or minus 20) micrograms per digestive gland. Absolute levels of all fatty acids per digestive gland declined continually until the end of the starvation period. The long-chain polyunsaturated acids eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic, decreased with starvation from 37 to 36% and 15 to 10%, respectively whereas the saturated fatty acid, palmitic acid (16:0), increased from 15% to 22%. Cholesterol, the major sterol in this organ, increased from 17 (plus or minus 20) to 44 (plus or minus 13) micrograms per digestive gland by Day 3, and by Day 19 had returned to levels found in the digestive gland of Day 0 individuals. Desmosterol followed a similar pattern to cholesterol, increasing from 3 (plus or minus 1) micrograms per digestive gland on Day 0 to 11 (plus or minus 4) micrograms on Day 3, and falling to 2 (plus or minus 1) micrograms on Day 19. Other sterols in the digestive gland, predominantly of algal origin, fell from the levels found in Day 0 individuals to near zero amounts by Day 6. The digestive gland of E. superba plays a dynamic role during short term starvation in terms of lipid content and composition. The relative levels of polar lipids, free fatty acids and cholesterol in the digestive gland may provide reliable indices of the nutritional condition of E. superba in the field. Sterols in the digestive gland are indicative of recent dietary composition of krill, and may also be used to quantify dietary input from individual phytoplankonic species.
The fatty acid profiles of Euphausia superba, the Antarctic prymnesiophyte, Phaeocystis pouchetii, and a temperate diatom, Phaeodactylum tricornutum were analysed and compared. The lipid content, lipid class, fatty acid and sterol composition of E. superba fed on each cultured phytoplankton and a mixed diet of both species, were determined. No significant difference was found between total lipid levels of E. superba reared on each of these different diets. Phaeocystis pouchetii, although deficient in a number of the essential fatty acids, is apparently an adequate food source for E. superba. The proportion of polyenoic acids varied within lipid classes although there was no significant difference between levels of the long chain polyunsaturate 20:5 (n-3) in the total lipid of E. superba fed on these diets. This acid was found to be less than 1% of the total lipid in Phaeocystis pouchetii compared to 37% in Phaeodactylum tricornutum. This suggests that krill may possess the ability to convert exogenous shorter chain fatty acids to 20:5 (n-3) and 22:6 (n-3). Significant differences were detected in the isomeric ratio of 16:1 (n-7c)/16:0 between krill fed the diatom compared to the prymnesiophyte diet. Significant differences were also detected in several shorter chain fatty acids and between fatty acids within their lipid classes. Such differences may have the potential to be used as biochemical signatures to provide information on food sources and possible feeding grounds of E. superba. Phaeocystis pouchetii in a very late stationary phase, although not used in this feeding study, was found to contain 11% of 22:6 (n-3) for which there are few substantive sources in natural algal populations.
Start Date: 1993-09-30Stop Date: 1995-03-31
BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION > ANIMALS/INVERTEBRATES
BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION > ANIMALS/INVERTEBRATES > ARTHROPODS > CRUSTACEANS
BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION > PROTISTS > DIATOMS
BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION > PLANTS > ALGAE
BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION > PLANTS > MICROALGAE > DIATOMS
BIOSPHERE > AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS > PLANKTON > PHYTOPLANKTON
BIOSPHERE > ECOLOGICAL DYNAMICS > ECOSYSTEM FUNCTIONS > FOOD-WEB DYNAMICS
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Phone: +61 3 6266 2980
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Email: Andrew.McMinn at utas.edu.au
Institute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies University of Tasmania Private Bag 77
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Virtue P., Nichols P.D., Nicol S., McMinn A., Sikes E.L. (1993), The lipid composition of Euphausia superba Dana in relation to the nutritional value of Phaeocystis pouchetii (Hariot) Lagerheim, Antarctic Science, 5, 2, 169-177
Virtue P., Nicol S., Nichols P.D. (1993), Changes in the digestive gland of Euphausia superba during short-term starvation: lipid class, fatty acid and sterol content and composition, Marine Biology, 117, 441-448
Virtue P. (1995), Lipids in Euphausia superba, PhD Thesis
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DIF Creation Date: 2000-08-04
Last DIF Revision Date: 2014-01-10