RNA/DNA ratios in the estimation of growth stages of oceanic zooplankton populations
Baugh, Dale Eric
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Current thought holds that the rate of protein synthesis is some function of the ribonucleic acid (RNA) concentration in growing animals. It is possible that measurements of the ratio of RNA to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) might provide an index of growth stages in gross analysis of mixed zooplankton populations. RNA concentrations are found by measuring the ultraviolet (UV) absorption of its purine and pyrimidine base groups. Interference from protein in the RNA measurement is accounted for by employing differential UV absorption. DNA concentrations are found by measuring the UV absorption of an indole-deoxyribose adduct. This study indicates that RNA/DNA ratios are related to growth stages of the splash zone copepod Tigriopus californicus . These ratios have the potential to be applied to models which relate zooplankton populations to the food chain and therefore to the sound scattering parameters which are of great interest to the Navy.
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