Characterization of esterase patterns in hepatopancreas of three species of Macrobrachium (Palaemonidae)

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The genus Macrobrachium (Bate, 1868) belongs to the Palaemonidae family. These species are commonly found in lakes, floodplains and rivers in tropical and subtropical regions of South America. The Macrobrachium genus encompasses nearly 210 species of ecological and economic importance. In this study, three species of Macrobrachium (M acrobrachium jelskii, M acrobrachium amazonicum and M acrobrachium brasiliense) were studied in order to characterize the esterase patterns in the hepatopancreas, which were still unknown. Esterases are enzymes which catalyze the hydrolysis of esters. In the hepatopancreas, these enzymes play important roles in several metabolic processes involved in some functions of this organ, such as detoxification and digestion. Twelve esterase bands (EST1 to EST12) were detected in these species, and a comparison among them showed no qualitative differences in interspecific bands, or between males and females. Inhibitors were used to classify the esterase bands. The results indicated seven acetylesterases, two carboxylesterases, one arylesterase, and one cholinesterase. The EST11 band was not detected in these procedures because of its lower frequency. Statistical analyses showed no variability among the species, in either interspecific or intraspecific assays. These results support the hypothesis of a high evolutionary conservation of esterases in the hepatopancreas of these crustaceans. The data enabled us to assess the genetic structure of these species through the use of esterasic enzymes. It also contributes to our knowledge about the biology of these poorly studied species. Knowledge on the genetic structure of populations and species are essential when defining priorities for their management and conservation. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.




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Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, v. 47, p. 132-138.

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