Modification of some biochemical activities in response to transition of giant african land snails, Archachatina marginata and Achatina achatina  from aestivation to an active state



The role of biochemical activities in the mechanisms that might control the transition of the giant African land snails, A. marginata and A. achatina, from aestivation to arousal were investigated in the study. Twenty snails each of the species were divided into four groups each. The experiment was conducted in a completely randomized design laid out in a species x week factorial arrangement. All groups were aestivated for 6 weeks. The control group was slaughtered at the end of the aestivation period, whereas the other groups were moistened and fed. These were slaughtered 2, 4 and 6 weeks after arousal. The results showed that no significant species differences (P > 0.05) were observed in chemical composition during post-aestivation. The crude protein significantly (P < 0.05) increases over the first 4 weeks and then recovered slowly towards the control values. The increase and recovery of crude protein reflect the rate of upgrading of protein synthesis and an increase in the tissue nutrient levels stimulated by arousal and active feeding. Rehydration and feeding triggered increase in the crude fibre content of both snails at the second week which were though, not significantly (P > 0.05) higher than the aestivated snails (control). This however, resulted in significant (P < 0.05) decrease of ether extract with increase length of post-aestivation period in both species. It is reasonable to conclude that the changes in protein synthesis and lipid utilization may account for a significant proportion of the mechanism that favours the transition.

Keywords: Composition biochemical transition aestivation rehydration active

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