, Volume 154, Issue 1, pp 25–33 | Cite as

Selenium deficiency in Crustacea

An ultrastructural approach to antennal damage inDaphnia magna Straus
  • B. -P. Elendt


The effect of selenium deprivation onDaphnia magna was examined under controlled rearing conditions in a synthetic culture medium. After three generations, fertility was significantly reduced in deprived (Se) animals. Growth and mortality of parent daphnids and development of parthenogenetic eggs were not affected during this period. In the fourth generation Se daphnids rejected parts of their second antennae. At the ultrastructural level antennal muscle tissue was severely affected. Animals deprived of selenium had mitochondria and sarcoplasmic reticulum with myelin-like alterations. Giant lysosomes were present and complete lysis of muscle fibrils was observed in antennal muscle cells. These alterations are characteristic features of peroxidic damage in tissues. This interpretation is consistent with the function of selenium as a constituent of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase which protects cells from peroxidation. Selenium should be included in synthetic culture media for daphnids.


Selenium deficiency Culture medium Crustacea Daphnia magna Ultrastructure Cytopathology 



selenium dependent glutathione peroxidase


selenium supplemented (control)/selenium deprived animals


Superoxide dismutase


sarcoplasmic reticulum


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. -P. Elendt
    • 1
  1. 1.Zoology Department I (Morphology/Ecology)University of HeidelbergHeidelberg

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