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Valine uptake by the scleractinian coral Galaxea fascicularis: characterization and effect of light and nutritional status


The characteristics of valine uptake by isolated microcolonies of Galaxea fascicularis (Linnaeus 1758) were studied under various conditions including light, dark and feeding. The results demonstrated the presence of: (1) a linear component which might represent either a diffusional transport or a low-affinity carrier-mediated transport (apparent carrier affinity >250 μmol·l−1), and (2) a high-affinity active carrier-mediated transport (apparent carrier affinity about 5 μmol·l-1). The latter is mediated by two different systems: (i) a Na+-dependent carrier, stimulated by light and operative in both fed and unfed polyps, and (ii) a Na+-independent carrier, light insensitive and present only in unfed polyps. Competition experiments with other amino acids show that the Na+-dependent carrier is highly specific for neutral amino acids, as indicated by the high inhibition constants of basic and acidic amino acids. Our results suggest that the energy supplied by zooxanthellae photosynthates is necessary for the process of amino acid uptake, and that the Na+-dependent carrier responsible for valine uptake by G. fascicularis is similar to the B0,+ system.

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amino acid(s)


ratio autotrophic/heterotrophic carbon


artificial sea water


dissolved organic material


high performance liquid chromatography

K 1 :

apparent inhibition constant

K m :

apparent affinity of the carrier


standard error

V max :

maximal rate of absorption


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Al-Moghrabi, S., Allemand, D. & Jaubert, J. Valine uptake by the scleractinian coral Galaxea fascicularis: characterization and effect of light and nutritional status. J Comp Physiol B 163, 355–362 (1993).

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Key words

  • Amino acid uptake
  • Light
  • Feeding
  • Coral, Galaxea fascicularis