Biochemical Adaptation

Biochemical Adaptation

Copyright Date: 1984
Pages: 558
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  • Book Info
    Biochemical Adaptation
    Book Description:

    This book discusses biochemical adaptation to environments from freezing polar oceans to boiling hot springs, and under hydrostatic pressures up to 1,000 times that at sea level.

    Originally published in 1984.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5541-4
    Subjects: Biological Sciences

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Figures
    (pp. vii-xii)
  4. List of Tables
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
    (pp. xv-xviii)
    Peter W. Hochachka and George N. Somero
    (pp. xix-2)
  7. CHAPTER ONE Biochemical Adaptation: Basic Mechanisms and Strategies
    (pp. 3-14)

    When scientists attempt to take a broad view of their field of inquiry and discern the dominant conceptual themes running through their discipline, they frequently speak of the “paradigms” of the field. Such paradigms are the world-views or conceptual frameworks within which most, if not all, of the detailed questions of investigation are phrased (Kuhn, 1970). In the chapters that follow we treat varied facets of what is probably the most encompassing and general paradigm in biology, a conceptual framework that finds expression at all levels of biological organization, ranging from the molecular level to the population level. This is...

  8. CHAPTER TWO Design of Cellular Metabolism
    (pp. 15-54)

    Because they are the end results of cycles of mutation and selection, organisms are in a proper sense “designed” systems, fully analogous to products of engineering design. Although organisms are designed by adaptation while machines are designed by engineers, both design systems share the essential attributes offunction and purpose(which are, of course, unknown in the inanimate world); both involve the trial of variants and the selection of those that work; and in both systems, origin and nature cannot be predicted from chemical and physical principles alone, any more readily than can the shape of fast-swimming fishes from knowledge,...

  9. CHAPTER THREE Adaptation of Enzymes to Metabolic Functions
    (pp. 55-84)

    Most of what we know about how enzymes work is gained from studying themin vitro, usually one isolated reaction at a time. But a living cell may have the potential for many thousands of reactions, so it is immediately evident thatin vivoenzyme function must be a lot different from that observedin vitro. In the first place, some enzymes are designed to initiate metabolic processes, and therefore will have to be sensitive to some sort of “on-off” mechanisms for controlling their activities. Some enzymes operate at metabolic branchpoints where moment-by-moment requirements of the cell determine the direction...

  10. CHAPTER FOUR Exercise Adaptations
    (pp. 85-144)

    Because of a tremendous interest in exercise metabolism and physiology on the part of scientist and layman alike, a large literature has developed outlining metabolic provisions for exercise and locomotion in a variety of animals including man; these studies supply us with one of the finest frameworks in which to illustrate process and mechanism in biochemical adaptation. Physiologists tell us that, in general, the power requirements of locomotion are a function of body size, velocity of locomotion, and mode of movement. Being big and moving fast are traits that demand high power output; being small and moving slowly is energy...

  11. CHAPTER FIVE Limiting Oxygen Availability
    (pp. 145-181)

    Extracting the maximal amount of chemical bond energy from a reduced organic molecule, be it a carbohydrate, lipid, or protein, typically involves degradation to CO2and H2O. To achieve this complete combustion, molecular oxygen (O2) usually must be available to the organism. That is why for most present-day organisms, O2-based combustion of foodstuffs is the sine qua non of metabolic efficiency. Yet it was not always so. The best available evidence indicates that early stages in the development of our planet occurred under highly reducing conditions (Crick, 1981). If this view is correct, the planet was initially devoid of molecular...

  12. CHAPTER SIX Metabolic Adaptations to Diving
    (pp. 182-203)

    We can think of no more vivid an example of a self-sustaining life-support system than an aquatic vertebrate when it dives, whether it be a lungfish in lakes of East Africa, a pirarucu in the Amazon, a cormorant in an American lake, or a seal, porpoise, or whale at sea. As with any of the systems discussed in Chapter 5, diving animals must have “on board” all materials required during the dive and mechanisms for their regulated utilization so that needs and supplies can be matched. Any deleterious end products formed during diving must be stored, cycled, tolerated, or excreted...

  13. CHAPTER SEVEN Off-Switches in Metabolism: From Anhydrobiosis to Hibernation
    (pp. 204-249)

    There are numerous examples in nature of animals entering dormant or semidormant states for variable time periods. For example, for surviving the total dehydration that may occur whenArtemiaencounter completely desiccated conditions, this small crustacean enters a period of encystment and metabolic arrest, which can last indefinitely. Such anhydrobiosis, although dramatic, is not unique to this particular organism. Another complex, multicellular animal that can totally dehydrate without ill effects is the larva of a chironomid fly (Polypedilum vanderplanki). This larva lives in shallow and exposed rock pools in Nigeria and Uganda. At the beginning of the rainy season the...

  14. CHAPTER EIGHT Mammalian Developmental Adaptations
    (pp. 250-278)

    Nearly all of the basic strategies of biochemical adaptation outlined in Chapter 1 are utilized during development of organisms. Anyone who has witnessed the growth and development of animals, or even of his or her own children, from newborn to adult stages will appreciate the marvels of such biochemical adaptations to time. These adjustments begin with egg fertilization and zygote division and usually proceed at modest pace. Periodically, however, abrupt and drastic developmental transitions are imposed upon the species. For mammals, it is difficult to imagine a more traumatic and abrupt environmental change than that occurring at birth. With the...

  15. CHAPTER NINE Respiratory Proteins
    (pp. 279-303)

    As discussions in several of the preceding chapters have shown, the transport of oxygen from the ambient environment to the respiring tissues is a critical feature in the metabolic architecture of organisms. Adequate oxygen supplies to the cells permit efficient aerobic processes to occur, while periods of oxygen deprivation necessitate reliance on less efficient pathways of ATP generation. To ensure a continuous supply of oxygen for the cells, selection has favored adaptations at all levels of biological organization. Gas exchange surface area may be adapted to the mode of oxygen uptake, blood volumes may be adjusted to maintain a satisfactory...

  16. CHAPTER TEN Water-Solute Adaptations: The Evolution and Regulation of Biological Solutions
    (pp. 304-354)

    When considering the compositions of the extra- and intracellular fluids of organisms, and the mechanisms used by organisms to regulate these compositions, one fact is of paramount importance: in no instance is the chemical composition of a biological solution identical to the composition of the surrounding medium. This fact has several extremely important implications which serve as the focus of much of the discussion to follow. First, the state of disequilibrium which exists between biological solutions and the surrounding medium tells us that considerable energy expenditure may be necessary to prevent physiologically disadvantageous changes in the compositions of the extra-...

  17. CHAPTER ELEVEN Temperature Adaptation
    (pp. 355-449)

    Every student of biology is apt to be aware of the critical role of temperature relationships in establishing the distribution limits, the rates of function and, indeed, the very survival of organisms. Students of zoogeography, for example, have long been familiar with the patterns by which faunal compositions change along environmental temperature gradients. Physiologists have devoted a great deal of study to the effects of temperature on metabolic rates and other critical processes. Biochemists have devoted considerable attention to the influences of temperature on the catalytic and regulatory properties of enzymes and on the ways in which changes in temperature...

  18. CHAPTER TWELVE Adaptations to the Deep Sea
    (pp. 450-495)

    Now that the fundamental characteristics of biochemical adaptation have been presented, largely through discussions involving one environmental stress at a time, it seems appropriate to conclude this volume by considering an environment in which all classes of environmental factors—physical, chemical, and biological—play conspicuous and interacting roles in shaping the biochemical design of organisms. The unique features of the deep sea provide us with an excellent study system for illustrating the basic concepts developed throughout this vollume and, in particular, for showing how the basic biochemical designs of organisms are shaped by the combined selective influences of a complex...

    (pp. 496-522)
  20. INDEX
    (pp. 523-537)
  21. Back Matter
    (pp. 538-538)