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International Journal of Zoology
Volume 2011, Article ID 310371, 9 pages
Research Article

Digestive Enzymes in the Crayfish Cherax albidus: Polymorphism and Partial Characterization

Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, University of Sannio, Via Port'Arsa 11, 82100 Benevento, Italy

Received 27 December 2010; Revised 2 March 2011; Accepted 24 March 2011

Academic Editor: Iain J. McGaw

Copyright © 2011 Elena Coccia et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We will deal with the partial characterization and the activity of the following digestive enzymes: amylase, pectinase, alginase, lipase, and protease present in the digestive tract of juvenile freshwater crayfish Cherax albidus. Gastric juices, the hepatopancreas, and the intestine were sampled for enzyme analysis. Among carbohydratases, amylase activity was the highest. It was significantly higher in the intestine than in the gastric juice and hepatopancreas. Lipase activity was significantly higher in the hepatopancreas and the intestine compared to the gastric juice. Both alkaline and acid proteases were found. Alkaline proteases were characterized by employing specific protease inhibitors. Both trypsin and chymotrypsin activity was detected. The majority of alkaline protease activity was ascribable to trypsin. Several isoforms of digestive enzymes were identified by gel electrophoresis. This work provides basic information to study the digestive abilities of crayfish.