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Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center


Preliminary Characterization of Digestive Enzymes in Freshwater Mussels

Sauey, B.W., Amberg, J.J., Cooper, S.T., Grunwald, S.K., Newton, T.J., and Haro, R.J., 2015, Preliminary Characterization of Digestive Enzymes in Freshwater Mussels, Journal of Shellfish Research, v 34, I 2, p 415-422.


Resource managers lack an effective chemical tool to control the invasive zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha. Zebra mussels clog water intakes for hydroelectric companies, harm unionid mussel species, and are believed to be a reservoir of avian botulism. Little is known about the digestive physiology of zebra mussels and unionid mussels. The enzymatic profile of the digestive glands of zebra mussels and native threeridge (Amblema plicata) and plain pocketbook mussels (Lampsilis cardium) are characterized using a commercial enzyme kit, api ZYM, and validated the kit with reagent-grade enzymes. A linear correlation was shown for only one of nineteen enzymes, tested between the api ZYM kit and a specific enzyme kit. Thus, the api ZYM kit should only be used to make general comparisons of enzyme presence and to observe trends in enzyme activities. Enzymatic trends were seen in the unionid mussel species, but not in zebra mussels sampled 32 days apart from the same location.Enzymatic classes, based on substrate, showed different trends, with proteolytic and phospholytic enzymes having the most change in relative enzyme activity.


freshwater mussel, zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha, digestion, enzyme, Amblema plicataLampsilis cardium

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