Temperature acclimation in the crayfish: Effects on phospholipid fatty acids

Tibor Farkas, Judd C. Nevenzel

Research output: Article

24 Citations (Scopus)


Acclimation to different temperatures by a poikilothermous animal must include modification of its membrane lipids to maintain the proper physical properties. The simplest way to achieve this acclimation would seem to be by modification of the phospholipid fatty acids. In a freshwater cray-fish, Procambarus clarkii, rapid changes in the degree of unsaturation of newly synthesized phospholipid fatty acids were correlated with changes in environmental temperature, both in whole animals and in slices of hepatopancreas tissue. At 5 C, the rate of fatty acid synthesis was about half that occurring at 23 C. Hepatopancreas tissue from animals acclimated to either 5 C or 23 C, when incubated for 2 hr at 5 C, incorporated a higher percentage of exogenous [1-14C] acetate into polyunsaturated acids (27-38% of the radioactivity in total fatty acids) than when incubated at 23 C (12-14%); conversely, more saturated fatty acids were synthesized at 23 C (73-80% vs 51-73%). The higher average unsaturation of the fatty acids biosynthesized at 5 C constitutes an effective response to the animal's need for modification of lipids to maintain adequate membrane function at the lower environmental temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-346
Number of pages6
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - máj. 1 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Cell Biology

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