Mitochondrial plasticity in brachiopod (Liothyrella spp.) smooth adductor muscle as a result of season and latitude

Habitat temperature and mitochondrial volume density (Vv(mt,mf)) are negatively correlated in fishes, while seasonal acclimatization may increase Vv(mt,mf) or the surface density of the mitochondrial cristae (Sv(im,mt)). The effect of temperature on invertebrate mitochondria is essentially unknown. A comparison of two articulate brachiopod species, Liothyrella uva collected from Rothera Station, Antarctica in summer 2007, and Liothyrella neozelanica collected from Fiordland, New Zealand in winter 2007 and summer 2008, revealed a higher Vv(mt,mf) in the Antarctic brachiopod. The Sv(im,mt) was, however, significantly lower, indicating the Antarctic brachiopods have more, less reactive mitochondria. L. uva, from the colder environment, had larger adductor muscles in both absolute and relative terms than the temperate L. neozelanica. Furthermore, a seasonal comparison (winter vs. summer) in L. neozelanica showed that the absolute and relative size of the adductor increased in winter, Vv(mt,mf) was unchanged, and Sv(im,mt) was significantly increased. Thus, seasonal acclimatization to the cold resulted in the same number of more reactive mitochondria. L. neozelanica was clearly able to adapt to seasonal changes using a different mechanism, i.e. primarily through regulation of cristae surface area as opposed to mitochondrial volume density. Furthermore, given the evolutionary age of these living fossils (i.e. approximately 550 million years), this suggests that mitochondrial plasticity has roots extending far back into evolutionary history.


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Authors: Lurman, G.J., Blaser, T., Lamare, M., Peck, Lloyd ORCIDORCID record for Lloyd Peck, Morley, Simon Anthony ORCIDORCID record for Simon Anthony Morley

On this site: Lloyd Peck, Simon Morley
1 January, 2010
Marine Biology / 157
7pp / 907-913
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