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Haliotis kamtschatkana, Abalone, Digestive gland, Isolated cell suspension, Metabolism, Reproductive cycle


A novel method of isolating digestive gland cells in abalone was used to provide information on the metabolic activity of this gland in Haliotis kamtschatkana. Activity, expressed as percent ·change in Vo2 of isolated cells before and after the addi­tion of glucose and amino acid substrates, was studied in relation to sex and to seasonal changes in gonad and digestive gland indices. At 3- to 4-mo intervals between May 1995 and July 1996, five collections of 10 adult abalone (equal sexes) were made from the West Coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Each animal's live mass (without shell) was recorded, and its gonad was aspirated from the digestive gland into a known volume (and mass) of seawater. The digestive gland was sliced free of its attachment, weighed, and related to shell-less body mass as percent digestive gland index (DGI). The gonad live mass was determined from the mass of aspirated mix of gonad and seawater, and related to shell-less body mass to give a percent gonad index (GI). Digestive gland cells were prepared and maintained in a special buffer, and their Vo2 's measured in microrespirometers. There was no sex effect on seasonal DGI, but significant seasonal differences in DGls correlated perfectly with metabolic activity of digestive-gland cells with glucose substrate. Thus, when digestive glands were largest relative to body size, metabolic activity of their cells was greatest. Gls were significantly higher for males than females. There was a significant seasonal effect on Gls, with values being high in springtime be­ fore spawning (April to May, 10-11%) and low in winter (December, 6%), but with statistical overlap between these and sum­mer values (July to August, 7-8%). Metabolic response of the digestive gland cells was highest with glucose substrate (75% increase over presubstrate resting levels as compared with 4% for amino acid substrate), reflecting the carbohydrate-based metabolism of abalone.

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Journal of Shellfish Research





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Published by the National Shellfisheries Association

v. 17, no. 1-3 (1998):