SICB Division of Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry (DCPB)

Researchers Database Entry

Louis Burnett

Shrimp on a treadmill
Lou Burnett, Karen Burnett, David Scholnick, Darwin Jorgensen and graduate student Lindy Thibodeaux at the Grice Marine Laboratory of the College of Charleston are investigating how an immune response against a bacterial infection influences the ability of some marine organisms to perform in their environment. We are using treadmills to determine changes in performance and physiology in shrimp, lobsters and crabs when they are injected with a common bacterial pathogen Vibrio campbellii. Shrimp will walk rapidly when the tread moves beneath them. At faster tread speeds, shrimp will swim and can sustain this activity for over 3 hours. Oxygen uptake is depressed in resting shrimp and crabs injected with Vibrio. And while both shrimp and crabs injected with Vibrio are able to sustain reasonably high rates activity for 30 min on a treadmill, Vibrio-injected animals are not as aerobic. Lactate builds up in tissues and some is even excreted. A part of this response is explained by the appearance of hemocyte aggregates that form in the gills blocking hemolymph flow minutes after injection with Vibrio, rendering the gill less effective as a gas exchange organ.

Shrimp movie link

Crab movie link