Date of this Version
Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 86(2):213–223. 2013.
The benthic macroinvertebrate Diporeia spp. have been extirpated from many areas of the Laurentian Great Lakes, but the mechanisms underlying such declines are not fully understood. Diporeia declines coinciding with the invasion of exotic dreissenid mussels (zebra and quagga) have led to the hypothesis that Diporeia declines are a result of decreased food availability from increasing competition with dreissenids for diatoms. There is additional evidence that Diporeia are negatively affected when in close proximity to dreissenids, probably because of exposure to toxins present in the mussels’ pseudofeces. Diporeia are also known to be sensitive to anthropogenic contaminants (such as polychlorinated biphenyls [PCBs]) present in Great Lakes sediments. To better understand the physiological responses of Diporeia to diverse stressors, we conducted three 28-d experiments evaluating changes in the metabolomes of Diporeia (1) fed diatoms (Cyclotella meneghiniana) versus starved, (2) exposed (from Lake Michigan and Cayuga Lake) to quagga mussels (Dreissena bugensis), and (3) exposed to sediments contaminated with PCBs. The metabolomes of samples were examined using both two-dimensional gas and liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. Each stressor elicited a unique metabolome response characterized by enhanced citric acid cycle, fatty acid biosynthesis, and protein metabolism in diatom-fed Diporeia; impaired glycolysis, protein catabolism, and folate metabolism in Diporeia from Lake Michigan irrespective of quagga mussel exposure, suggesting lakespecific adaptation mechanisms; and altered cysteine and phospholipid metabolism during PCB exposure. Subsequent comparisons of these stressor-specific metabolic responses with metabolomes of a feral Diporeia population would help identify stressors affecting Diporeia populations throughout the Great Lakes.