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Title: Measuring complex phenotypes: A flexible high-throughput design for micro-respirometry.
Variation in tissue-specific metabolism between species and among individuals is thought to be adaptively important; however, understanding this evolutionary relationship requires reliably measuring this trait in many individuals. In most higher organisms, tissue specificity is important because different organs (heart, brain, liver, muscle) have unique ecologically adaptive roles. Current technology and methodology for measuring tissue-specific metabolism is costly and limited by throughput capacity and efficiency. Presented here is the design for a flexible and cost-effective high-throughput micro-respirometer (HTMR) optimized to measure small biological samples. To verify precision and accuracy, substrate specific metabolism was measured in heart ventricles isolated from a small teleost, Fundulus heteroclitus, and in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Within the system, results were reproducible between chambers and over time with both teleost hearts and yeast. Additionally, metabolic rates and allometric scaling relationships in Fundulus agree with previously published data measured with lower-throughput equipment. This design reduces cost, but still provides an accurate measure of metabolism in small biological samples. This will allow for high-throughput measurement of tissue metabolism that can enhance understanding of the adaptive importance of complex metabolic traits.
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1754437 1556396
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National Science Foundation
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    Supported by the Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator Grant at Harvard University and by the Harvard Catalyst/The Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center (National Institutes of Health Award UL1 TR001102), by NSF grants DMR-0820484 and PFI-TT-1827309 and by NIH grant R01HD092550-01. T.S. was supported by a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology grant (1308878). S.F. and S.A. were supported by NSF MRSEC DMR-1420382. Becker and Hickl GmbH sponsored the research with the loaning of equipment for FLIM. T.S. and D.N. are cofounders and shareholders of LuminOva, Inc., and co-hold patents (US20150346100A1 and US20170039415A1) for metabolic imaging methods. D.S. is on the scientific advisory board for Cooper Surgical and has stock options with LuminOva, Inc.

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