Seasonal and spatial variations in the RNA:DNA ratio and its relation to growth in sub-Arctic scallops.

Blicher, Martin E., Clemmesen, Catriona , Sejr, Mikael K. and Rysgaard, Soeren (2010) Seasonal and spatial variations in the RNA:DNA ratio and its relation to growth in sub-Arctic scallops. Open Access Marine Ecology Progress Series, 407 . pp. 87-98. DOI 10.3354/meps08540.

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We examined the RNA and DNA concentration of field-caught scallops Chlamys islandica, maintained in suspended cultures at 15 and 30 m depth, and scallops from a wild population at 50 to 60 m in Kobbefjord, southwest Greenland. General relations between RNA and DNA concentrations and individual shell height were established, and we found that the RNA:DNA ratio (RD) worked well as a standardisation of the RNA concentration independent of size and sex. During an experimental period of 14 mo, we observed a pronounced seasonal pattern in RD and mass growth, and differences between depths. Even though the period with high levels of RD reflected the growth season relatively well, RD was a poor predictor of individual mass growth rates of C. islandica. However, we found a non-linear response in RD to increased food concentrations resulting in RD being up- and down-regulated at the beginning and end of the productive summer season, respectively. These results indicate that short-term dynamics in the actual mass growth rate might be controlled through regulation of ribosome activity rather than ribosome number (RNA concentration). This adaption would allow scallops to up-regulate protein synthesis more rapidly, thereby ensuring efficient utilisation of the intense peaks in food availability in coastal areas in the Arctic. Therefore, we suggest that RD in C. islandica reflects the growth potential rather than the actual growth rate. Still, the amount of unexplained variance in RD is considerable and not independent over time, suggesting the existence of unresolved mechanisms or relationships.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Benthic Ecology; Ichthyology; Macrobenthos; Bivalve; Pectinid; Chlamys islandica; Greenland; Biomarker; Food availability
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Marine Evolutionary Ecology
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
Publisher: Inter Research
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2010 12:54
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2018 13:01

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