Tracey B. Schock1, David A. Stancyk2, Arezue Boroujerdi1, Lindy K. Thibodeaux2, Louis E.Burnett2, Karen G. Burnett2, and Daniel W. Bearden1.

1National Institute of Standards and Technology, Analytical Chemistry Division, Hollings Marine Laboratory, Charleston, SC 29412

2College of Charleston, Grice Marine Laboratory, Charleston, SC 29412



The Atlantic blue crab, Callinectes sapidus, is a key organism in estuarine ecosystems and the blue crab fishery is important economically and recreationally along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of United States. Assessing the health of these crustaceans is also important for evaluating the health of the coastal environment. Blue crabs are subjected to many stressors including anthropogenic contaminants and viruses and bacteria. Bacterial infection results in the depression of oxygen uptake, and impairs normal metabolic function in a manner that has not yet been fully elucidated. Our laboratory is developing NMR-based metabolomic tools for environmental research based on the ability to discover metabolomic biomarkers of stress and exposure in marine organisms. We are investigating the response of the crab metabolome to Vibrio campbellii injection, 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP) injection (a known uncoupler of oxidative phosphorylation resulting in an increase of oxygen uptake), and saline (control) injection with NMR spectroscopy of crab hemolymph. The corresponding NMR spectral variations between individual crabs were investigated using chemometric tools for pattern recognition and biomarker identification, including principle components analysis (PCA) and partial least-squares (PLS) analysis. Significant metabolic changes were identified in crab hemolymph injected with V. campbellii at the 30 minute time point. Glucose, considered a reliable index for biological stress in crustaceans, provided the largest variation in the metabolome. Trajectory analysis revealed two different modes of oxidative stress, corresponding to the chemical and bacterial challenge. However, biological variability and/or tight regulation of the hemolymph may have masked subtle metabolic changes and evaluation of tissues collected during this study would provide a better assessment of changes to the metabolome. 












CATEGORY: Chemistry



Mentors Name: Dan Bearden

Analyltical Chemistry Division, Hollings Marine Laboratory

NMR Facility

331 Ft. Johnson Rd.

Charleston, SC 29412

Tel: (843) 762-8865

Fax: (843) 762-8742



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