Digestive profile and capacity of the mud crab (Scylla serrata)

Pavasovic, Marko (2004) Digestive profile and capacity of the mud crab (Scylla serrata). Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Commercial farming of mud crab Scylla serrata is a significant industry throughout South East Asia. The limited scientific knowledge of mud crab nutritional requirements and digestive processes, however, is recognised as a

major constraint to the future growth of this industry. To better understand the

mechanisms of digestion in the mud crab we have analysed the diversity of digestive enzymes from the hepatopancreas. Significant protease, amylase,cellulase and xylanase activities were detected in soluble extracts from this


Temperature profiles for all enzymes were basically similar with optimal activities observed at 500C. Examination of pH tolerance revealed optimal activities for protease and amylase at pH 7.0 while optimal activities for

cellulase and xylanase were observed at pH 5.5. Under optimum conditions,protease and amylase activities were approximately two orders of magnitude greater than those seen for either cellulase or xylanase. Interestingly,

hepatopancreatic extracts were able to liberate glucose from either starch or carboxymethyl (CM)-cellulose suggesting that a range of carbohydrates may be utilised as energy sources. The effects of dietary carbohydrates on feed

digestibility, digestive enzyme levels and growth were also studied by inclusion of additional starch or CM-cellulose at the expense of casein in formulated diets. It was shown that amylase, cellulase and xylanase activities

in extracts from the hepatopancreas were highest in mud crabs fed diets containing 47% carbohydrate. Based on the findings, we suggest that the ability of the mud crab to modulate digestive enzyme activities may represent

a mechanism to maximise access to essential nutrients when the dietary profile changes.

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ID Code: 15973
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Richardson, Neil & Mather, Peter
Keywords: mud crab farming, scylla serrata, commercial mud crab farming, commercial farming in south east asia, aquaculture, aquaculture production, aquatic crustaceans, crabs
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Department: Faculty of Science
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Marko Pavasovic
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 03:54
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 14:40

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