PloS one

Energy reserves mobilization: Strategies of three decapod species.

PMID 28886062


In food deprivation assays, several different responses have been observed in crustaceans. However, studying energy reserves utilization among more than one species during the same starvation period has not yet been performed, particularly to discern whether the responses are due to intrinsic and/or environmental factors. We hypothesize that decapod species with similar feeding habits have the same strategies in the use of energetic reserves during starvation, even though they inhabit different environments. The aim of this study was to compare the energy reserves mobilization of three decapods species (Cherax quadricarinatus, Palaemon argentinus and Munida gregaria) with similar feeding habits, exposed to similar food deprivation conditions. The crayfish, shrimp and squat-lobster were experimentally kept at continuous feeding or continuous starvation throughout 15 days. Every 3rd day, the midgut gland index (MGI), and the glycogen, lipid and protein contents were measured in the midgut gland (MG) and pleon muscle. Palaemon argentinus mobilized more reserves during starvation, followed by C. quadricarinatus, and the last M. gregaria. The starved shrimps presented low MGI, whereas MG showed a reduction in glycogen (from day 6 to 15), lipid (from day 3 to 15), and protein levels (at day 9 and 15) while in their muscle, lipid reserves decreased at days 3 and 6. In C. quadricarinatus, the most affected parameters in the MG were MGI, glycogen (from day 6 to 15), and lipids (at day 12 and 15). In the MG of M. gregaria only the glycogen was reduced during fasting from 3 to 15 days. Even though the three studied species have similar feeding habitats, we found that their energetic profile utilization is different and it could be explained by the habitat, life span, temperature, organ/tissue, and metabolism of the species. Our results may be useful to understand the several different responses of crustaceans during starvation.