Ocean acidification causes fundamental changes in the cellular metabolism of the Arctic copepod Calanus glacialis as detected by metabolomic analysis

Using a targeted metabolomic approach we investigated the effects of low seawater pH on energy metabolism in two late copepodite stages (CIV and CV) of the keystone Arctic copepod species Calanus glacialis. Exposure to decreasing seawater pH (from 8.0 to 7.0) caused increased ATP, ADP and NAD+ and decreased AMP concentrations in stage CIV, and increased ATP and phospho-L-arginine and decreased AMP concentrations in stage CV. Metabolic pathway enrichment analysis showed enrichment of the TCA cycle and a range of amino acid metabolic pathways in both stages. Concentrations of lactate, malate, fumarate and alpha-ketoglutarate (all involved in the TCA cycle) increased in stage CIV, whereas only alpha-ketoglutarate increased in stage CV. Based on the pattern of concentration changes in glucose, pyruvate, TCA cycle metabolites, and free amino acids, we hypothesise that ocean acidification will lead to a shift in energy production from carbohydrate metabolism in the glycolysis toward amino acid metabolism in the TCA cycle and oxidative phosphorylation in stage CIV. In stage CV, concentrations of most of the analysed free fatty acids increased, suggesting in particular that ocean acidification increases the metabolism of stored wax esters in this stage. Moreover, aminoacyl-tRNA biosynthesis was enriched in both stages indicating increased enzyme production to handle low pH stress.

Thor P., Vermandele F., Bailey A., Guscelli E., Loubet-Sartrou L., Dupont S. & Calosi P., 2022. Ocean acidification causes fundamental changes in the cellular metabolism of the Arctic copepod Calanus glacialis as detected by metabolomic analysis. Scientific Reports 12: 22223. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-26480-9. Article.

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