Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://doi.org/10.1086/374281
Title: Alkaline environmental pH has no effect on ammonia excretion in the mudskipper Periophthalmodon schlosseri but inhibits ammonia excretion in the related species Boleophthalmus boddaerti
Authors: Chew, S.F.
Hong, L.N.
Wilson, J.M.
Randall, D.J.
Ip, Y.K. 
Issue Date: Mar-2003
Citation: Chew, S.F., Hong, L.N., Wilson, J.M., Randall, D.J., Ip, Y.K. (2003-03). Alkaline environmental pH has no effect on ammonia excretion in the mudskipper Periophthalmodon schlosseri but inhibits ammonia excretion in the related species Boleophthalmus boddaerti. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 76 (2) : 204-214. ScholarBank@NUS Repository. https://doi.org/10.1086/374281
Abstract: Experiments were performed to evaluate the effects of alkaline environmental pH on urea and ammonia excretion rates and on tissue urea, ammonia, and free amino acid concentrations in two mudskippers, Periophthalmodon schlosseri and Boleophthalmus boddaerti. Periophthalomodon schlosseri is known to be capable of actively excreting ammonia. The rate of ammonia excretion in B. boddaerti exposed to 50% seawater (brackish water, BW) at pH 9 decreased significantly during the first 2 d of exposure when compared with that of specimens exposed to pH 7 or 8. This suggested that B. boddaerti was dependent on NH3 diffusion for ammonia excretion, as in most fishes. It was incapable of detoxifying the accumulating endogenous ammonia to urea but could store and tolerate high concentrations of ammonia in the muscle, liver, and plasma. It did not undergo reductions in proteolysis and/or amino acid catabolism in alkaline water, probably because the buildup of endogenous ammonia was essential for the recovery of the normal rate of ammonia excretion by the third day of exposure to a pH 9 medium. Unlike B. boddaerti, P. schlosseri did not accumulate ammonia in the body at an alkaline pH (i.e., pH 9) because it was capable of actively excreting ammonia. Periophthalmodon schlosseri did not undergo partial amino acid catabolism (no accumulation of alanine) either, although there might be a slight reduction in amino acid catabolism in general. The significant decrease in blood pCO2 in B. boddaerti at pH 9 might lead to respiratory alkalosis in the blood. In contrast, P. schlosseri was able to maintain its blood pH in BW at pH 9 despite a decrease in pCO2 in the blood. With 8 mM NH4Cl in BW at pH 7, both mudskippers could actively excrete ammonia, although not to the same extent. Only P. schlosseri could sustain ammonia excretion against 8 mM NH4Cl in BW at pH 8. In BW containing 8 mM NH4Cl at pH 9, both mudskippers died within a short period of time. Boleophthalmus boddaerti consistently died faster than did P. schlosseri. This indicates that the body surfaces of these mudskippers were permeable to NH3, but the skin of P. schlosseri might be less permeable to NH3 than that of B. boddaerti. Both mudskippers excreted acid (H+) to alter the pH of the alkaline external medium. Such a capability, together with modifications in gill morphology and morphometry as in P. schlosseri, might be essential to the development of an effective mechanism for the active excretion of NH4 +.
Source Title: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/100032
ISSN: 15222152
DOI: 10.1086/374281
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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