TitleEffect of Food Quantity and Quality on Population Growth Rate and Digestive Activity in the Euryhaline Rotifer Brachionus plicatilis MULLER
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsStrojsova, M, Suga, K, Hagiwara, A, Vrba, J
Keywordsnitrogen limitation, phosphatase activity, phosphorus limitation, reproduction

We investigated the nutritional effects of both food quantity and quality on Brachionus plicatilis. Decomposition of particulate and dissolved organic matter by rotifer digestive enzymes play a crucial role in rotifer nutrition. Among other enzymes, rotifers produce phosphatases, non-specific enzymes that allow for the release of orthophosphate from a variety of organic phosphorus compounds. Phosphatase saturation was measured in B. plicatilis homogenates using the spectrofluorimetric method. We examined population growth rate, reproduction and phosphatase activity in the homogenate of rotifers (PA(RH)) fed by nutrient-replete algal food supplied at different quantities. Population growth rate, number of eggs per individual and PA(RH) were affected by food quantity. Growth rate and number of eggs per individual significantly increased in rotifers fed by food supplied at the highest quantity. The highest population growth rate was reached by rotifers fed by nutrient-replete food, while it did not significantly differ between rotifers fed on nitrogen (N)-depleted and phosphorus (P)-depleted food. The number of eggs per individual was more affected by N than P supply. PA(RH) and rotifer RNA content were not influenced by different food quality. The results indicate that B. plicatilis is not able to regulate its digestive apparatus in terms of efficiently getting access to essential nutrients when scarce, but do this when nutrient-replete food is available in different quantity.