Carbonic anhydrase (CA), Na /K -ATPase (NKA) and Vacuolar-type H -ATPase (HAT) play vital roles in osmoregulation and pH balance in decapod crustaceans. As variable pH levels have a significant impact on the physiology of crustaceans, it is crucial to understand the mechanisms by which an animal maintains its internal pH. We examined expression patterns of cytoplasmic (CAc) and membrane-associated form (CAg) of CA, NKA α subunit and HAT subunit a in gills of freshwater crayfish, Cherax quadricarinatus, at three pH levels – 6.2, 7.2 (control) and 8.2 – over 24 h. Expression levels of CAc were significantly increased at low pH and decreased at high pH conditions 24 h after transfer. Expression increased at low pH after 12 h, and reached its maximum level by 24 h. CAg showed a significant increase in expression at 6 h after transfer at low pH. Expression of NKA significantly increased at 6 h after transfer to pH 6.2 and remained elevated for up to 24 h. Expression for HAT and NKA showed similar patterns, where expression significantly increased 6 h after transfer to low pH and remained significantly elevated throughout the experiment. Overall, CAc, CAg, NKA and HAT gene expression is induced at low pH conditions in freshwater crayfish.
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