Environmentally induced variation in uric acid concentration and xanthine dehydrogenase activity in Littorina saxatilis (Olivi) and L. arcana Hannaford Ellis
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Littorina saxatilis and Littorina arcana collected from a boulder field low in the intertidal zone had a uric acid concentration significantly higher than snails collected from nearby cliff crevices that were at the upper limit of their vertical range on the shore. The absolute concentrations varied with different collections, suggesting a possible seasonal fluctuation in uric acid. L. arcana had a greater concentration of uric acid than did L. saxatilis when both were from the boulder field, but the two did not differ significantly when taken from crevices. Samples from the two sites were marked and transplanted; by four weeks the transplanted animals showed a tendency to develop a uric acid concentration similar to that of natives of the site, suggesting a physiological rather than a genetic adaptation. Xanthine dehydrogenase activity differed between animals from the two sites in the same manner as the uric acid concentration.
Key wordsLittorina saxatilis Littorina arcana; uric acid xanthine dehydrogenase
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