Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Toward a More Comprehensive View of α-Amylase across Decapods Crustaceans: New Insights from Carnivorous

Version 1 : Received: 11 August 2021 / Approved: 16 August 2021 / Online: 16 August 2021 (09:33:48 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Rodríguez-Viera, L.; Alpízar-Pedraza, D.; Mancera, J.M.; Perera, E. Toward a More Comprehensive View of α-Amylase across Decapods Crustaceans. Biology 2021, 10, 947. Rodríguez-Viera, L.; Alpízar-Pedraza, D.; Mancera, J.M.; Perera, E. Toward a More Comprehensive View of α-Amylase across Decapods Crustaceans. Biology 2021, 10, 947.


Decapod crustaceans are a very diverse group and have evolved to suit a wide variety of diets. Alpha-amylases enzymes, responsible for starch and glycogen digestion, have been more thoroughly studies in herbivore and omnivore than in carnivorous species. We used information on the α-amylase of a carnivorous lobster as a connecting thread to provide a more comprehensive view of α-amylases across decapods crustaceans. Omnivorous crustaceans such as shrimps, crabs and crayfish present relatively high amylase activity respect to carnivorous. Yet, contradictory results have been obtained and relatively high activity in some carnivores has been suggested to be a remnant trait from ancestor species. Here we provided information sustaining that high enzyme sequence and overall architecture conservation do not allow high changes in activity, and that differences among species may be more related to number of genes and isoforms, as well as transcriptional and secretion regulation. However, recent evolutionary analyses revealed that positive selection might have also occurred among distant lineages with feeding habits as a selection force. Some biochemical features of decapod α-amylases can be related with habitat or gut conditions, while less clear patterns are observed for other enzyme properties. Likewise, while molt cycle variations in α-amylase activity are rather similar among species, clear relationships between activity and diet shifts through development cannot be always observed. Regarding the adaptation of α-amylase to diet, juveniles seem to exhibit more flexibility than larvae, and it has been described variation in α-amylase activity or number of isoforms due to the source of carbohydrate and its level in diets, especially in omnivore species. In the carnivorous lobster, however, no influence of the type of carbohydrate could be observed. Also, lobsters were not able to fine-regulate α-amylase gene expression in spite of large changes in carbohydrate content of diet, while retaining some capacity to adapt α-amylase activity to very low carbohydrate content in the diets. In this review, we raised arguments for the need of more studies on the α-amylases of less studied decapods groups, including carnivorous species which rely more on dietary protein and lipids, to broad our view of α-amylase in decapods crustaceans.


amylase; carbohydrates; crustaceans; decapods; digestion; feeding habits; lobster.


Biology and Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science and Zoology

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