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Glycolytic capacities depend on developmental stage in Amphiprion ocellaris

Nina Paul*, Andreas Kunzmann

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ABSTRACT: Detailed knowledge about the basic metabolism in early life stages of fishes helps to understand energetically important life phases. However, little is known about metabolic capacities during ontogenetic development of anemone fishes before and after settlement. This study established metabolic key enzyme activities of citrate synthase (CS), pyruvate kinase (PK) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) to establish oxidative and glycolytic capacities in eggs, larvae and juveniles of false clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) before and after hatch, and during ontogenetic metamorphosis from pelagic to sedentary mode of life (settlement-stage). Oxidative capacity significantly increased after hatching and remained constant throughout development. Compared to hatched larvae (1-2 days old), glycolytic and fermentative capacities on the contrary were about 2.5- and 2.1-fold higher in pre-settlement 7-8 days old larvae, respectively, and decreased significantly in post-settlement 15 days old juveniles. Relative glycolytic enzyme activity ratios therefore verified that settlement-stage anemone fish larvae mostly rely on glycolytic capacities for needed burst swimming capabilities during settlement, before they enter the benthic mode of life thereafter. Intraspecific variances in enzyme activities due to ontogenetic transition should be considered when using metabolic key enzymes as biomarkers for analysing larval physiological status.