Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 869–882 | Cite as

Aerobic and anaerobic enzymatic activity of orange roughy (Hoplostethus atlanticus) and alfonsino (Beryx splendens) from the Juan Fernandez seamounts area

  • L. M. SaavedraEmail author
  • R. A. Quiñones
  • R. R. Gonzalez-Saldía
  • E. J. Niklitschek


The aerobic and anaerobic enzymatic activity of two important commercial bathypelagic species living in the Juan Fernández seamounts was analyzed: alfonsino (Beryx splendens) and orange roughy (Hoplostethus atlanticus). These seamounts are influenced by the presence of an oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) located between 160 and 250 m depth. Both species have vertical segregation; alfonsino is able to stay in the OMZ, while orange roughy remains at greater depths. In this study, we compare the aerobic and anaerobic capacity of these species, measuring the activity of key metabolic enzymes in different body tissues (muscle, heart, brain and liver). Alfonsino has higher anaerobic potential in its white muscle due to greater lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity (190.2 μmol NADH min−1 g ww−1), which is related to its smaller body size, but it is also a feature shared with species that migrate through OMZs. This potential and the higher muscle citrate synthase and electron transport system activities indicate that alfonsino has greater swimming activity level than orange roughy. This species has also a high MDH/LDH ratio in its heart, brain and liver, revealing a potential capacity to conduct aerobic metabolism in these organs under prolonged periods of environmental low oxygen conditions, preventing lactic acid accumulation. With these metabolic characteristics, alfonsino may have increased swimming activity to migrate and also could stay for a period of time in the OMZ. The observed differences between alfonsino and orange roughy with respect to their aerobic and anaerobic enzymatic activity are consistent with their characteristic vertical distributions and feeding behaviors.


Seamounts Enzymatic activity Oxygen minimum zone Beryx splendens Hoplostethus atlanticus 



This research was funded by the Interdisciplinary Center for Aquaculture Research (INCAR; FONDAP 1511002). Sampling was made possible as part of research Project No 2004–13 from the Fondo de Investigación Pesquera, Chile (Undersecretariat of Fisheries, Ministry of Economy, Chile). R. Gonzalez was funded by FONDECYT 234568 (CONICYT, Chile), E. Niklitschek by INNOVA Chile Grant No. 34567 and Luisa Saavedra by FONDECYT 3150392 and Center for the study of multiple-drivers on marine socio-ecological systems (MUSELS, IC120019).


This study was funded by Fondo de Investigación Pesquera, Chile (Undersecretariat of Fisheries, Ministry of Economy, Chile) research Project No. 2004–13, Interdisciplinary Center for Aquaculture Research (INCAR; FONDAP 1511002) and FONDECYT 3150392.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

The fishes used in this research were collected from deep-bottom trawls deployed by the factory vessel “Betanzos,” as part of the 2005 annual orange roughy–alfonsino hydroacoustic survey. The specimens were obtained from the trawls. Subsequently they were anaesthetized using benzocaine. Once they were fully anesthetized, they were dissected and tissues and organs preserved in liquid nitrogen. The fish died due to the removal of the heart, a needed tissue for the experimental objective. We did not conduct experimental work with animals alive. We only used tissues preserved in liquid nitrogen. In any case, all our experimental procedures at the laboratory are in agreement with the regulations of the Chilean National Commission on Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT), Ministry of Education, Chilean Government.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. M. Saavedra
    • 1
    Email author
  • R. A. Quiñones
    • 2
    • 3
  • R. R. Gonzalez-Saldía
    • 4
  • E. J. Niklitschek
    • 5
  1. 1.Center for the Study of Multiple-Drivers on Marine Socio-Ecological Systems (MUSELS)Universidad de ConcepciónConcepciónChile
  2. 2.Interdisciplinary Center for Aquaculture Research (INCAR)Universidad de ConcepciónConcepciónChile
  3. 3.Departamento de Oceanografía, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y OceanográficasUniversidad de ConcepciónConcepciónChile
  4. 4.Unidad de Biotecnología Marina, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y OceanográficasUniversidad de ConcepciónConcepciónChile
  5. 5.Centro i~marUniversidad de Los LagosPuerto MonttChileX Región

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