Journal of Comparative Physiology B

, Volume 168, Issue 3, pp 190–196 | Cite as

Effects of temperature on mitochondrial function in the Antarctic fish Trematomus bernacchii

  • R. B. Weinstein
  • G. N. Somero


Effects of temperature on O2 consumption by mitochondria of the Antarctic fish Trematomus bernacchii were compared with effects obtained with mitochondria from tropical (Sarotheridon mossambica) and temperate zone fishes (Sebastes carnatus and Sebastes mystinus). Arrhenius plots of O2 consumption versus temperature exhibited slope discontinuities (“breaks”) at temperatures (Arrhenius break temperatures: ABTs) reflective of the species' adaptation temperatures. The ABT for mitochondria of T. bernacchii is the lowest reported for any animal and is ∼12 °C below the value predicted by a regression equation based on ABT data for several invertebrates and fishes. The temperature at which the acceptor control ratio (ACR), an index of efficiency of coupling of electron transport to synthesis of ATP, began to decrease with rising temperature also reflected adaptation temperature. The decrease in ACR with rising temperature began at ∼18 °C for mitochondria of T. bernacchii, in contrast to ∼35 °C for mitochondria of Sarotheridon mossambica. Maintaining T. bernacchii at 4 °C for 2 weeks led to no changes in ABT or in the response of ACR to temperature. The thermal sensitivities of mitochondria of T. bernacchii reflect the high level of cold adaptation and stenothermy that is characteristic of Antarctic Notothenioid fishes.

Key words Cold adaptation Mitochondria Stenothermy Temperature Trematomus bernacchii 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. B. Weinstein
    • 1
  • G. N. Somero
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85724-5042, USA Fax: +1-520-626-2110, e-mail: randiw@bas.cs.arizona.eduUS
  2. 2.Department of Biological Sciences, Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University, Pacific Grove, CA 93950-3094, USA Fax: +1-408-626-3086, e-mail: somero@leland.stanford.eduUS

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