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Oxygen Consumption in Molluscs

Posted on Mar 09 2011 by Jeanne Young, Ken Sanderson

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Tags: asell biology

Experiment Overview

Most living organisms are aerobic meaning they require the consumption of oxygen for survival. Oxygen consumption is one physiological parameter which can be readily assessed under laboratory conditions, it can be use as a measure of metabolic rate of the organism and used as an relative indicator of stress levels of an organism.

This experiment is designed determine the influence of environmental temperature on the oxygen consumption of the Australian dog whelk, Dicathais orbita. Dicathais orbits is an intertidal mollusc found along most of the Australian coastline. Recently, it has been discovered that the ink released as a defence mechanism by this species contains a protein which functions as anticancer agent, causing apoptosis of cancerous cells. This finding has increased the medical and commercial interest of the species, and thus a desire to identify optimal conditions to facilitate the aquaculture of the species. Molluscs are ectothermic and conform the environment in which they live, therefore knowledge of the optimal temperature for growth and reproduction will be essential for successful commercial production of this species.

The overall aim of the experiment is determine the temperature at which the rate of oxygen consumption is highest for Dicathais orbita, to ultimately apply this value to further development of aquaculture conditions for the species, T

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