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Lecture 16

Organismal Physiology_Lecture 16.docx

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Western University
Biology 2601A/B
Tamsen Taylor

Organismal Physiology Lecture No. 16: Oxygen Transport & Respiratory Pigments th Tuesday November 6 , 2012 The Transport Of Oxygen – Respiratory Pigments: -Blood must be thicker than water. The solubility of O in2water (especially warm salty water) is not enough to provide O to active tissues. Many organisms use respiratory pigments that bind O and 2 2 transport it to tissues. Respiratory pigments can be in solution or enclosed in pigments. A hematocrit is a process where you centrifuge whole blood and measure the proportion of ‘solids’ (cells). It is a pretty good measure of blood oxygen carrying capacity in vertebrates. The Real Advantage Behind Respiratory Pigments: -In humans, blood picks up oxygen from the lungs and holds 200mL of O per lit2e of blood in chemical combination as opposed to holding 4mL of O per l2tre in solution. This 50-fold increase in oxygen demonstrates the fact that without hemoglobin, the heart would need to pump 50 litres for every single litre it pumps now. A respiratory pigment is a that combines reversibly with oxygen. Many animals possess these pigments and all of them are metalloproteins (proteins that contain a metal atom), which is the reason for their colour. Respiratory pigments like hemoglobin are not only effective at sucking O 2 out of water, but can transport a lot per unit volume as well. Components Of A Respiratory Pigment: -In hemoglobin, the protein contains four subunits (tetrameric) and a metal-containing “Heme” group that is the site of oxygen binding. By looking at the general distribution of hemoglobin on a phylogeny, it is pretty well dispersed throughout the animal kingdom. Chlorocruorins, Hemerythrins & Hemocyanins:
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