Metabolite Changes of Perna canaliculus Following a Laboratory Marine Heatwave Exposure: Insights from Metabolomic Analyses

    • Awanis Azizan1, Leonie Venter1, Peet J. Jansen van Rensburg2, Jessica A. Ericson3, Norman L. C. Ragg3 and Andrea C. Alfaro1
    • 1Aquaculture Biotechnology Research Group, School of Science, Auckland University of Technology, Private Bag 92006, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
    • 2Human Metabolomics, North-West University, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa
    • 1Cawthron Institute, Private Bag 2, Nelson 7042, New Zealand

    Temperature is considered to be a major abiotic factor influencing aquatic life. Marine heatwaves are emerging as threats to sustainable shellfish aquaculture, affecting the farming of New Zealand’s green-lipped mussel [Perna canaliculus (Gmelin, 1791)]. In this study, P. canaliculus were gradually exposed to high-temperature stress, mimicking a five-day marine heatwave event, to better understand the effects of heat stress on the metabolome of mussels. Following liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analyses of haemolymph samples, key sugar-based metabolites supported energy production via the glycolysis pathway and TCA cycle by 24 h and 48 h of heat stress. Anaerobic metabolism also fulfilled the role of energy production. Antioxidant molecules acted within thermally stressed mussels to mitigate oxidative stress. Purine metabolism supported tissue protection and energy replenishment. Pyrimidine metabolism supported the protection of nucleic acids and protein synthesis. Amino acids ensured balanced intracellular osmolality at 24 h and ammonia detoxification at 48 h. Altogether, this work provides evidence that P. canaliculus has the potential to adapt to heat stress up to 24 °C by regulating its energy metabolism, balancing nucleotide production, and implementing oxidative stress mechanisms over time. The data reported herein can also be used to evaluate the risks of heatwaves and improve mitigation strategies for aquaculture.

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