The environment in which animals can live is dictated by several abiotic and biotic factors. One important factor, especially for aquatic animals, is pH. The optimal pH is vital to ensure the occurrence of important biological processes. Enzymes work best at certain pH values, and the environmental pH may affect the enzyme effectiveness. The medically important, aquatic snail Biomphalaria glabrata has been studied extensively in regards to its behavior and biochemistry. Our review examines the pH range at which B. glabrata can survive optimally and the effect pH has on the metabolism of B. glabrata. Based on previous studies on the pH tolerance of B. glabrata both in the field and the laboratory, these snails tolerate a relatively broad pH range. This paper also examines the literature on pH tolerance in laboratory and experimental studies on selected freshwater snails with major emphasis on B. glabrata. Lastly, a biochemical study on the effects of subjecting the B. glabrata snail to a wide range of pH values showed that such changes did not alter the composition of the snail lipids as determined by high-performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC).
View Full Article