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Journal of Experimental Biology

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Catalase, Peroxidase, Superoxide dismutase, Antioxidants -- Mechanism of action, Killifishes -- Embryology


Embryos of Austrofundulus limnaeus can tolerate extreme environmental stresses by entering into a state of metabolic and developmental arrest known as diapause. Oxidative stress is ubiquitous in aerobic organisms and the unique biology and ecology of A. limnaeus likely results in frequent and repeated exposures to oxidative stress during development. Antioxidant capacity of A. limnaeus was explored during development by measuring antioxidant capacity due to small molecules and several enzymatic antioxidant systems. Diapause II embryos can survive for several days in 1% hydrogen peroxide without indications of negative effects. Surprisingly, both small and large molecule antioxidant systems are highest during early development and may be due to maternal provisioning. Antioxidant capacity is largely invested in small molecules during early development and in enzymatic systems during late development. The switch in antioxidant mechanisms and decline in small molecule antioxidants during development correlates with the loss of extreme anoxia tolerance.


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