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The influence of defined ante-mortem stressors on the early post-mortem biochemical processes in the abdominal muscle of the Norway lobster, Nephrops norvegicus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Gornik, Sebastian G. and Albalat, Amaya and Atkinson, Robert J. A. and Coombs, Graham H. and Neil, Douglas M. (2010) The influence of defined ante-mortem stressors on the early post-mortem biochemical processes in the abdominal muscle of the Norway lobster, Nephrops norvegicus (Linnaeus, 1758). Marine Biology Research, 6 (3). pp. 223-238. ISSN 1745-1000

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Abstract

The effects of four different ante-mortem stressors (exercise, emersion, starvation and a patent infection with the parasite Hematodinium sp.) on post-mortem processes have been investigated in the abdominal muscle of Norway lobster Nephrops norvegicus by measuring changes in the pH, the levels of glycogen, L-lactate, arginine phosphate, ATP, ADP, AMP, IMP, HxR, Hx and the adenylate energy charge (AEC) over a time course of 24 h with samples being taken at 0, 3, 6, 12 and 24 h. The acute stresses of intense exercise and 2 h emersion resulted in a premature onset of anaerobic glycolysis, leading both to an enhanced glycogen depletion rate and an early accumulation of L-lactate. The chronic stressors, starvation and parasite infection, resulted in a complete ante-mortem depletion of muscle glycogen and consequently the failure of post-mortem glycolytic fermentation. Post-mortem pH and ATP inter-conversion were significantly altered in chronically stressed animals. Ante-mortem, a rapid, almost complete depletion of arginine phosphate was observed in all stress groups. The AEC was altered significantly by all stresses, indicating a strong energy demand. The findings suggest that ante-mortem stressors strongly influence the post-mortem biochemical processes. The laboratory-based results are compared to 'field' data and effects on post-harvest product quality are discussed.