Published: July 7th, 2023
Coulometric respirometry is ideal for measuring the metabolic rate of small organisms. When adapted for Drosophila melanogaster in the present study, measured O2 consumption was within the range reported for wildtype D. melanogaster by previous studies. Per-fly O2 consumption by CASK mutants, which are smaller and less active, was significantly lower than the wildtype.
Coulometric microrespirometry is a straightforward, inexpensive method for measuring the O2 consumption of small organisms while maintaining a stable environment. A coulometric microrespirometer consists of an airtight chamber in which O2 is consumed and the CO2 produced by the organism is removed by an absorbent medium. The resulting pressure decrease triggers electrolytic O2 production, and the amount of O2 produced is measured by recording the amount of charge used to generate it. In the present study, the method has been adapted to Drosophila melanogaster tested in small groups, with the sensitivity of the apparatus and the environmental conditions optimized for high stability. The amount of O2 consumed by wildtype flies in this apparatus is consistent with that measured by previous studies. Mass-specific O2 consumption by CASK mutants, which are smaller and known to be less active, was not different from congenic controls. However, the small size of CASK mutants resulted in a significant reduction in O2 consumption on a per-fly basis. Therefore, the microrespirometer is capable of measuring O2 consumption in D. melanogaster, can distinguish modest differences between genotypes, and adds a versatile tool for measuring metabolic rates.
The ability to measure metabolic rate is crucial for a complete understanding of an organism in its environmental context. For example, it is necessary to measure metabolic rate in order to understand its role in lifespan1, the role of diet in metabolism2, or the threshold for hypoxic stress3.
There are two general approaches to measuring the metabolic rate4. Direct calorimetry measures energy expenditure directly by measuring heat production. Indirect calorimetry measures energy production through other means, often via respirometric measurement....
1. Fly rearing and collection
The pressure and current outputs of the respirometer controller are shown for one chamber in one experiment in Figure 3A. The first, long current pulse pressurized the chamber from ambient pressure (approximately 992 hPa) to the pre-set OFF threshold of 1017 hPa. As the flies consumed O2 and CO2 was absorbed, pressure decreased slowly until it reached the ON threshold of 1016 hPa, which activated current through the O2 generator. In the example shown, the ave.......
The above procedure demonstrates measurement of O2 consumption in D. Melanogaster using an electronic coulometric microrespirometer. The resulting data for O2 consumption in wild-type D. melanogaster were within the ranges described in most previous publications using diverse methods (Table 1) although somewhat lower than that reported by others3,6.
Critical steps addressed the t.......
We thank Dr. Linda Restifo at the University of Arizona for suggesting testing the O2 consumption of CASK mutants and for sending CASK mutants and their congenic controls. Publication fees were provided by the Departmental Reinvestment Fund from the Biology Department at the University of College Park. Space and some equipment were provided by the Universities at Shady Grove.....
|19/22 Thermometer Adapter
|2 ml Screwcap Tubes
|O2 generator: cut to 2-pin
|4-Pin Female Connector
|5 ml Polypropylene Tube
|Cut to 5.5 cm and perforated
|50 ml Schlenk Tube 19/22 Joint
|6-Conductor 26 ga
|6-Pin Female Bulkhead Connector
|6-Pin Female Connector
|6-Pin Male Connector
|800 ul centrifuge tube
|Soda Lime Cartridge
|ABS Plastic Enclosure
|Arduino Nano Every
|BME 280 Sensor
|5 X 7 cm
|Cut in half to plug fly tubes
Cut in quarters for humidity
|Secure Electrodes in O2 Generator
|Secures glass joint of chamber to plug
|Platinum Wire 24 ga
|High Vacuum Grease
|Seals chamber-plug connection
|Connect controllers to computer
|Water Bath Tank
|15-liter rimless acrylic
|Bath for Respirometers
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