Anaerobic dormancy quantified in Artemia embryos: A calorimetric test of the control mechanism

Steven C. Hand, University of Colorado Boulder
Erich Gnaiger, University of Innsbruck


Continuous measurement of heat dissipation from brine shrimp embryos during reversible transitions from aerobic development to anaerobic dormancy demonstrates a primary role for intracellular pH (pHi) in this metabolic switching. Artificially elevating the depressed pHi during anoxia by adding ammonia markedly reactivates metabolism, as judged by increases in heat dissipation, trehalose catabolism, and the ratio of adenosine triphosphate to adenosine diphosphate. Energy flow during anaerobic dormancy is suppressed to 2.4 percent of aerobic values, which is the lowest percentage thus far reported for euryoxic animals. Use of diguanosine tetraphosphate stores cannot account for this observed heat dissipation. Thus, mobilizing trace amounts of trehalose may explain the energy metabolism during quiescence.