Differences of two polychaete species reflected in enzyme activities
Polychaetes constitute most of the benthic macroinvertebrates in estuarine and coastal environments. We investigated the utilization of organic matter in two polychaete species, Capitella sp. I and Perinereis nuntia brevicirris, living in different coastal habitats. The protease activity of Capitella sp. I (89.7 μg mg−1) was about 10 times that of P. nuntia brevicirris (8.0 μg mg−1). High cellulase (endo-β-1,4-glucanase) activity was detected in P. nuntia brevicirris (3.2 μg mg−1), whereas scarcely any was detected in Capitella sp. I. We isolated cDNA clones of protease mRNA from Capitella sp. I and of cellulase mRNA from P. nuntia brevicirris. The high protease activity of Capitella sp. I enabled it to survive in the sediment under a fish farm, where it degrades organic matter. In contrast, the high cellulase activity of the estuary-dwelling P. nuntia brevicirris allowed it to degrade organic matter originating from terrestrial areas.
KeywordsCellulase Fish Farm Cellulase Activity Calculated Molecular Weight Zymogram Analysis
We thank Dr F. T. Celino (Ehime University) for critically reading the manuscript. We also thank Dr T. Kunihiro for collecting Capitella sp. I. This work was supported by the Global COE Program of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.
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