Variation in the link between oxygen consumption and ATP production, and its relevance for animal performance

Salin, K., Auer, S. K., Rey, B., Selman, C. and Metcalfe, N. B. (2015) Variation in the link between oxygen consumption and ATP production, and its relevance for animal performance. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences, 282(1812), 20151028. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2015.1028) (PMID:26203001)

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Abstract

It is often assumed that an animal's metabolic rate can be estimated through measuring the whole-organism oxygen consumption rate. However, oxygen consumption alone is unlikely to be a sufficient marker of energy metabolism in many situations. This is due to the inherent variability in the link between oxidation and phosphorylation; that is, the amount of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) generated per molecule of oxygen consumed by mitochondria (P/O ratio). In this article, we describe how the P/O ratio can vary within and among individuals, and in response to a number of environmental parameters, including diet and temperature. As the P/O ratio affects the efficiency of cellular energy production, its variability may have significant consequences for animal performance, such as growth rate and reproductive output. We explore the adaptive significance of such variability and hypothesize that while a reduction in the P/O ratio is energetically costly, it may be associated with advantages in terms of somatic maintenance through reduced production of reactive oxygen species. Finally, we discuss how considering variation in mitochondrial efficiency, together with whole-organism oxygen consumption, can permit a better understanding of the relationship between energy metabolism and life history for studies in evolutionary ecology.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Auer, Dr Sonya and Metcalfe, Professor Neil and Selman, Professor Colin and Salin, Dr Karine
Authors: Salin, K., Auer, S. K., Rey, B., Selman, C., and Metcalfe, N. B.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences
Publisher:The Royal Society
ISSN:0962-8452
ISSN (Online):1471-2954
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 The Authors
First Published:First published in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences 282(1812):20151028
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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