UBC Undergraduate Research

Assessing hypoxia tolerance in the Mytilus trossulus Mader, Heidi


Presented at the Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Conference on March 8, 2008 in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, University of British Columbia. Abstract: Organisms that reside in the intertidal zone are routinely subjected to extreme fluctuations of oxygen levels. To cope with subnormal available oxygen in an environment, organisms must either reduce their metabolic activity, switch to alternate biochemical pathways to generate cellular energy, or use a combination of the two. Using the marine mussel, Mytilus trossulus, in a two-part investigation, the critical oxygen tension (Pcrit) was assessed to determine the point at which the animal could no longer maintain normal metabolic activity. With this information, the metabolic responses were analyzed for the second part of the experiment to gain further insight into how alternate biochemical pathways aid the mussel to overcome prolonged oxygen deprivation.

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