Excess amylase in Gammarus palustris (Crustacea: Amphipoda); its release into and possible roles in the environment

R. Borowsky, M. M. Guarna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Gammarus palustris Bousfield (1969) individuals, of both sexes, contain levels of amylase activity sufficient to hydrolyze their dry weight in starch in less than an hour. We suggest that this is in excess of their needs for internal digestion. Experiments show that amylase is released by the amphipod into the environment, especially when they are maintained in the presence of food. Gammarus palustris amylase can be recovered from their natural habitat. The enzymes retain activity over the wide salinity range (5 to 30‰) encountered by this species in nature. It is hypothesized that released amylase plays a role external to the amphipod, perhaps in predigestion of food, perhaps as an aid in finding food.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-534
Number of pages6
JournalMarine Biology
Volume101
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology

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