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Digestive carbohydrases from the hepatopancreas of two antarctic euphausiid species euphausia superba and euphausia crystallorophias



Digestive carbohydrases from the hepatopancreas of two antarctic euphausiid species euphausia superba and euphausia crystallorophias



Marine Biology (Berlin) 90(3): 371-378



The hepatopancreatic extracts of Euphausia superba Dana and E. crystallorophias Holt and Tattersall collected from the Antarctic Ocean during January 1985, are most effective in hydrolysing substrates containing(1 .fwdarw. 3)-.beta.-glucosidic linkages. Three enzymes appear to be involved in the depolymerization of (1 .fwdarw. 3)-.beta.-D-glucans in the euphausiid diet: (1) an exo-(1 .fwdarw. 3)-.beta.-D-glucanase, (2) an endo-(1 .fwdarw. 3)-.beta.-D-glucanase and (3) a .beta.-D-glucosidase. The glucanases have a pH optimum of 5.4, a temperature optimum of 50.degree. C and are optimally extracted in bistrispropane buffer, pH 7.2. Levels of (1 .fwdarw. 3)-.beta.-D-glucanase in laboratory-cultured E. superba are inversely affected by food availability, and activities double after starvation for 12 d. The increase is due mainly to higher activities of exo-acting glucanases. .alpha.-Amylase and endo-(1 .fwdarw. 4)-.beta.-D-glucanase (cellulase) activity are also present in the extracts in addition to glycosidase activity against a range of p-nitrophenyl substrates (.alpha.- and .beta.-D-glucose, .alpha.- and .beta.-D-galactose, .beta.-D-xylose, .alpha.- and .beta.-D-mannose). Digestive activity against several acidic polysaccharides, including the acidic mucilage polysaccharide of the ice diatom Stauroneis amphioxys, is minimal and is not induced when the polysaccharide is present in the diet of E. superba. These results indicate that some, but not all, components of the algal material in the euphausiid diet can be hydrolyzed and assimilated.

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