Activity of digestive enzymes along the gut of juvenile red abalone, <i>Haliotis rufescens</i>, fed natural and balanced diets

Garcia-Esquivel, Z, Felbeck H.  2006.  Activity of digestive enzymes along the gut of juvenile red abalone, Haliotis rufescens, fed natural and balanced diets. Aquaculture. 261:615-625.

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abalone, aquaculture, california, digestive enzymes, discus-hannai, feed, fulgens, gland, glycosidases, green abalone, H. rufescens, inert diet, juvenile abalone, mollusks, protein, purification


Two carbohydrases (cellulase, lysozyme), three proteases (trypsin, aminopeptidase and non-specific protease), a non-specific lipase, and semiquantitative tests of 19 digestive enzymes were assayed in different gut sections of juvenile red abalone, Haliotis rufescens, in order to identify the regions where digestion takes place and investigate the extent to which diet composition can modify the digestive capacity of abalone. The abalone were fed either fresh kelp (K) or balanced diets containing 25 or 38% crude protein for 6 months. Enzyme assays were carried out on different sections of the abalone's gut at the end of this period. On a weight-specific basis, the digestive gland was the site containing most of the enzymes. On a protein-specific basis, two main digestion regions were identified: the digestive gland-stomach region that is characterized by high activities of cellulase and lysozyme, chymotrypsin and protease, and the mouth-intestine region with a typically high activity of lipase and amino peptidase. Significant dietary effects were observed on the activity of enzymes, especially in the digestive gland. Abalone fed with 25 and 38% crude protein diets exhibited higher cellulase (39.8 +/- 4.6 and 14.2 +/- 0.8 mU mg(-1) protein, respectively) and lysozyme activities (88.0 +/- 20.4 and 56.6 +/- 15.7 U, respectively) than those fed with fresh kelp (5.5 +/- 0.7 mU mg-1 protein and 17.1 +/- 1.8 U). In contrast, higher protease activity was found in kelp-fed organisms (234.1 +/- 20.4 mu g product/mg protein) than those fed the 25 and 38% crude protein diets (109.5 +/- 20.7 and 119.5 +/- 20.5 mu g product/mg protein, respectively). Semiquantitative API ZYM assays resulted in no clear food-specific effects on the activity of carbohydrases, proteases, ester hydrolases or phosphohydrolases, yet organ-specific differences were conspicuous in various cases, and generally agreed with quantitative results. It is suggested that the increased carbohydrase activity exhibited by organisms fed the balanced diets resulted from a combination of an increased number of resident bacteria in the abalone's gut and facilitated contact between dietary substrates and digestive cells. The present results indicate that H. rufescens can adjust their enzyme levels in order to maximize the acquisition of dietary protein and carbohydrates. This characteristic can be advantageously used to search for suitable diets in abalone aquaculture. Published by Elsevier B.V.