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Animal nutrition and digestion

Form and Function

Animal Digestion
• • • • • • Flow of energy through an animal is called bioenergetics. Animals harvest chemical energy from the food they eat. Food materials are digested through an enzymatic process called hydrolysis. Digested molecules are absorbed by the cells of the animal. Within the cell the absorbed nutrients are used to create ATP through either cellular respiration or fermentation. After the energetic needs of staying alive are met – remaining molecules from food can be stored or used in biosynthetic reactions (e.g. body growth and repair). Energy needs are quantified in many ways. Metabolic rate (MR) = sum of all the energyrequiring biochemical reactions occurring over a given time interval. MR can be measured in many ways. One way would be to measure heat production using a calorimeter. – closed container that records heat loss. Alternatively – measure the amount of oxygen consumed or CO2 produced through cellular respiration. Or the amount of food consumption. MR is affected by being an ectotherm or an endotherm. But also is affected by size and metabolic rate.

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• Every animal experiences a range of Metabolic Rates (MRs). • Minimum MR powers the basic functions that support life. – cell maintenance, breathing, heartbeat. – average human – Basic Metabolic Rate (BMR) or 1,600-1,800 kcal per day for adult males and 1,300 to 1,500 kcal per day for adult females. – equivalent to the energy used by a 75 watt light bulb. • Maximum MRs power activities such as vigorous exercise or flying. – maximal MRs are provided through the highest rates of ATP utilization. • Most animals are in between: – sitting during this lecture requires a MR greater than that of BMR. • The MR of a non-growing endotherm at rest is called the basal metabolic rate or BMR. • The MR of a non-growing ectotherm at rest at a particular temperature is called the standard metabolic rate of SMR.

Need to feed
• • • • • • Powering the reactions that underlie our BMR requires cellular energy. Cellular energy to most animals is ATP. ATP can be derived from a number of nutrients within our food. So we need to ingest food and process it to produce ATP = chemical heterotrophs. The process of ingesting and processing is called digestion. There are several types of eating strategies:
– herbivores – carnivores – omnivores

Regardless of what is eaten – the animal diet must satisfy three nutritional needs
– 1. Must provide fuel – chemical energy:
• for all the cellular work of the body.

– 2. Must provide the organic raw materials for biosynthesis:
• carbon skeletons.

– 3. Must provide essential nutrients that the animal cannot make:
• e. g. vitamins and minerals

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The nutritional requirements of animals varies greatly. Also have developed many diverse adaptations for obtaining their food and processing it.

• Four main mechanisms for feeding: – 1. Suspension or filter feeders • many aquatic animals • sift small particles from the water • e.g. clams and oysters, whales – 2. Substrate feeders • animals that live on or in their food source • eat their way through their substrate • e.g. insects – 3. Fluid feeders • suck nutrient rich fluid from a living host (animal or plant) – 4. Bulk feeders • most animals • eat relatively large pieces of food • adaptations include jaws, fangs, teeth – kill prey and rip off pieces of food • more complex adaptations in their digestive system also – separate compartments for mechanical and chemical digestion vs. absorption

• Animals have an energy budget – flow of energy in and out of an animal – production of ATP accounts for the largest fraction of this energy that is used – nearly all animals generate ATP through the oxidation of energy-rich organic molecules such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats – during cellular respiration • Regulated through homeostasis – e. g. glucose regulation • Severe problems occur when the energy budget gets knocked out of “whack” for long periods of time – caloric imbalance – this imbalance can lead to undernourishment or overnourishment

• • Food must provide the raw materials for biosynthetic processes – from sugar – obtain carbon – from proteins – obtain nitrogen Many of our foods contain essential nutrients – Essential amino acids • animals require 20 amino acids to make proteins • most animal species can generate these as long as they ingest nitrogencontaining foods • however, some amino acids cannot be made – in humans there are 8 (9 in infants – histidine) • deficiency of protein synthesis decreases the concentration of blood plasma proteins – decreases the osmotic pressure of the blood plasma • water then flows out of the blood plasma into the surrounding tissues = edema (especially pronounced in the abdominal region) • dominant role in determine mental function • best source is meat • poor source are plant materials – most domesticated plants are deficient in one or two essential AAs. – e.g. corn – deficient in lysing and tryptophan – Essential fatty acids • certain unsaturated fatty acids – Vitamins and minerals

The main stages of food processing are:
– Ingestion: Act of eating – Digestion: Breaking down of food into particles small enough to be absorbed by cells
• cleaves large macromolecules into their components of sugars, amino acids, fatty acids/glycerol and nucleic acids • two types: chemical and mechanical
– chemical = enzymatic hydrolysis

• two kinds of digestive compartments for the processing of food: intracellular and extracellular
– allows the animal to digest safely without digesting itself – intracellular – e.g. food vacuoles • digestion within a cell • cell engulfs the food particle (phagocytosis) • enters the food vacuole • vacuole fuses with lyzosomes – contain enzymes for digestion • very common in primitive animals – extracellular – seen in most higher order animals • breakdown takes place outside the cells in compartments • followed by absorption • in simple animals the digestive compartment is a very simple tube = gastrovascular cavity (Cnidarians and Platyhelminthes) • other animals have evolved specialized structures • birds vs. mammals vs. insects

– Absorption: Small molecules through the small and large intestines – Elimination:
• lower animals usually have a single opening to their digestive cavity. • with increased complexity in animal body plans – complete digestive tract with two openings – ingestion and elimination. • allows for ingestion to take place while elimination is also occurring.

Nutrition in animals
• Heterotrophs must obtain energy sources externally –Fungi digest via external digestion using mycelial mat of hyphae –Animals tend towards internalized ingestion, can be divided to: • Herbivory, Carnivory, Omnivory

Animal nutritional systems
Comparative Digestion
• A. Food Vacuoles -- the simplest digestive
compartments; organelles where a single cell digests its food without hydrolytic enzymes mixing with the cell's cytoplasm (intracellular digestion). • Ex: Protozoa, sponges. • Extracellular digestion occurs in early stages of digestion in most animals; exclusive type of digestion in bacteria and fungi.

• Invertebrates: – Porifera use spongocoel – Cnidaria, Platyhelminthes use gastrovascular cavity (GVC) or are parasitic

– Nematoda and upwards use complete gastrointestinal tract (GI)

Nutrition in Sponges
• Flagella from Choanocytes waft current through pores of sponge wall into spongocoel and out via osculum • Membranous collar of choanocytes captures food particles (unicellular algae) • Particles brought into choanocyte by endophagocytosis, transferred to amoebocytes by exophagocytosis • Amoebocytes digest and transport food to rest of sponge

Nutrition in Gastro Vascular Cavity (GVC) animals (e. g.The Hydra)
• One entry/exit to chamber • Convoluted edge/lobes to maximize surface area • Specialized cells in gastrodermis secrete digestive enzymes into sealed GVC • Cilia or movement of animal stirs mixture of food particles with enzymes • Digested products absorbed by gastrodermis through diffusion

Animals with complete GIs
• Tubular gut allows for specialization and storage

• Digestive systems usually have 4 stages:
– Ingestion – Digestion • Mechanical (grinding) • Chemical (hydrolysis) – Absorption – Egestion (Elimination)

The vertebrate digestive system
• Mouth and pharynx leading to esophagus. • Some digestion in stomach, which can be multiple chambered (ruminants). • Digestion continues in small intestine, which is also where absorption occurs (some guts include a cecum). • Water and minerals absorbed by large intestine. • Undigested remains move to rectum and egested through anus.

Human digestion 1
• Ingestion into buccal cavity • Mechanical digestion through mastication, lubricated with mucus • Chemical digestion intiated in salivary glands via salivary amylaze (acts on carbohydrates) • Food bolus swallowed and passed onto stomach via peristalsis • Epiglottis prevents bolus going into trachea

2/2 Incisors 1/1 Cuspids =32 2/2 Premolars 3/3 Molars

Primary and Secondary Dentition
-primary: 20 teeth starting at 6 months -secondary/adult: between 6 and 12 years = 32 teeth 8 incisors - biting 4 canines (cuspids) - tearing 8 premolars (bicuspids) - grinding 12 molars (tricuspids) - grinding ** third pair of molars (wisdom teeth) may not erupt-impacted

• Collapsed muscular tube • In front of vertebrae • Posterior to trachea • Posterior to the heart • Pierces the diaphragm at hiatus
– hiatal hernia or diaphragmatic hernia

Human digestion 2
1) Food bolus swallowed and passed onto stomach via peristalsis 2) Epiglottis prevents bolus going into trachea 3) Swallowing against back of throat stimulates neurons to cause swallowing response

• Voluntary phase---tongue pushes food to back of oral cavity • Involuntary phase----pharyngeal stage – breathing stops & airways are closed – soft palate & uvula are lifted to close off nasopharynx – vocal cords close – epiglottis is bent over airway as larynx is lifted – controlled by autonomic nervous system

• Peristalsis pushes food down – circular fibers behind bolus – longitudinal fibers in front of bolus shorten the distance of travel • Travel time is 4-8 seconds for solids and 1 sec for liquids • Lower sphincter relaxes as food approaches

Human digestion 3
1) Food passage into stomach controlled by cardiac sphincter. 2) Stomach convoluted and lined with pits; in humans, can expand from 50 ml to 2–4 L. 3) Secretory cells line pits of stomach Parietal cells (HCl) Chief cells (Pepsinogen). 4) Pepsinogen (a proenzyme) converts to pepsin in the presence of HCl (mixing aided by churning of stomach). 4) Mixture called Acid Chyme Pepsin and acidic action of HCl hydrolyse peptide bonds.

Human digestion 4
– Acid chyme released into lower intestine via pyloric sphincter into lower (small) intestine
• Duodenum, jejenum, ileum

– Duodenum is a u-shape, into which flows pancreatic duct, from pancreas – Pancreas secretes further enzymes, including pancreatic amylaze, peptidases = pancreatic juice – Pancreatic juice combined with bicarbonates and bile from gallbladder that neutralizes acidic substrates

Human digestion 5
– Small intestine is lined with villi (singular = villus), which are further lined by microvilli – Villi are finger-like projections that form a brush border – Each villus is supplied by capillaries (cardiovascular) and a lacteal (lymphatic)

Human digestion 6
– Brush-border is the site of final digestion, and absorption of monomer products of digestion • Non-lipids -> capillaries -> hepatic portal vein • Lipids -> lacteal – Large intestine absorbs water and minerals, working in conjunction with E. coli

Variations on a theme...

Digestion in a ruminant

Digestion in a Ruminant
• Sheep, cattle, Camel, etc….
• Four-chambered stomach: rumen, reticulum, omasum and abomasum.
• Symbiosis with prokaryotes and ciliated protists that produce cellulase, necessary to break down cellulose. • When a ruminant eats grass, it passes into the rumen and reticulum for processing by microorganisms.

• The cud is periodically regurgitated and chewed again
• The cud, when swallowed, enters the omasum and abomasum to be digested by the ruminant’s own enzymes