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The anaerobic oyster heart: Coupling of glucose and aspartate fermentation


The interrelationships of carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism during anaerobiosis were investigated in the ventricle of the intertidal oyster,Crassostrea gigas. While the ventricle accumulates alanine and succinate in a 2∶1 ratio during anoxia, these end products appear to arise from different precursors. Thus glucose-14C is metabolized mainly to alanine-14C (55% of glucose carbon appears in alanineversus 3% in succinate) by the anoxic ventriclein vitro while succinate-14C is the principle end product of aspartate-14C catabolism. Glutamate-14C is poorly metabolized by the anoxic ventricle, and correspondingly, while ventricular aspartate concentrations drop during anoxia, those of other amino acids do not. A metabolic scheme coupling glucose and aspartate catabolism in this facultative anaerobe is proposed. The detection of a third, as yet incompletely identified, anaerobic end product produced by the ventricle is reported.

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Collicutt, J.M., Hochachka, P.W. The anaerobic oyster heart: Coupling of glucose and aspartate fermentation. J Comp Physiol B 115, 147–157 (1977).

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  • Glucose
  • Fermentation
  • Aspartate
  • Carbohydrate
  • Alanine