Fine structure and metabolic adaptation of red and ...



Title Fine structure and metabolic adaptation of red and white muscles in tuna
Author(s) John C. George, E. Don Stevens
Journal Environmental Biology of Fishes
Date 1978
Volume 3
Issue 2
Start page 185
End page 191
Abstract An electron microscopic study of the red and white muscle fibres in the trunk musculature of the Kawakawa tuna ( Euthynnus affinis ) was carried out with a view to correlating their structure with metabolic adaptation. The red fibres which are considerably smaller in diameter (34.58 µm ± 6.16 S.D.) are characterized by their high content of myoglobin, mitochondria, lipid droplets and glycogen granules. The white fibres which are relatively larger in diameter (66.03 µm ± 11.59 S.D.) are characterized by their lack of myoglobin, low mitochondria) density, high content of glycogen granules and the conspicuous absence of lipid droplets. The characteristics in fine structure of the two fibre types are discussed in the light of their metabolic adaptation, the red fibres as being adapted for long term cruising movement utilizing lipid as the main source of energy and the white fibres for short bursts of activity metabolizing glycogen as the chief fuel.

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