The effects of seasonal changes on the free amino acid pool of the sea anemone, Bunodosoma cavernata.
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Bunodosoma cavernata were collected at least once monthly, from January 1979 through July 1980, in order to determine the effects of seasonal and environmental changes on the free amino acid (FAA) pool of this intertidal osmoconformer. Whole anemones were individually lyophilized and homogenized, proteins and lipids were removed, and the remainder was analyzed for FAA composition. Overall, taurine, glycine, B-alanine, alanine, and glutamate comprised over 80 percent of the FAA pool of B. cavernata. The concentrations of each of the major components varied uniquely in response to salinity, temperature, and innate seasonal changes. Taurine, B-alanine, and the FAA pool as a whole were directly affected by salinity changes. Fluctuations in glycine and glutamate concentrations were related to season and year of the study. Highest glycine concentrations occurred simultaneously with gonad ripeness. Alanine concentrations decreased linearly with increased temperatures. All five of these amino acids were significantly higher in Summer 1980, during a high salinity - high temperature period, than in the preceding three seasons. Seasonal changes in the FAA pool as a whole were dependent on both the existing environmental conditions and innate cycles.