ll was proved that the activity of basic proteinases (pH 8.3) and acid proteinases (pH 4.0) of the Antarctic krill increases exponentially in spring-summer season (September-December); the activity of the first ones is 6 times higher and increases more rapidly. The positive relation between the proteolytic activity and the degree of gut filling of krill was also evidenced. The lack of high activity of acid proteinases in early spring does not support the suggestions of Ikeda and Dixon (1982) that during Antarctic winter krill takes energy from the autoproteolysis of own body proteins.
Seasonal changes in the Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba Dana) autoproteolytic activity were followed throughout the year. Using the kinetic formula for the first order reaction, the initial reaction rate (y0), the rate after 5 minutes (y5) and the average reaction rate (yx) after 0, 5, 10, 15 and 20 min of incubation of mixed homogenate at 40° + 0.2°C were determined in each sample. Changes in the krill autoproteolytic activity over the year were found to follow a sinusoid with a maximum during the austral summer (January) and a minimum during the austral winter (July-August). The maximum initial reaction rate was about ten times the minimum initial rate, which is an evidence of a considerable seasonal variation in the krill autoproteolytic activity associated presumably with the krill feeding intensity.
Changes in the amount of basic nitrogen fractions (total, protein and non-protein nitrogen) were studied in an annual cycle. Significant seasonal changes were noted, minima occurring in Antarctic winter and maxima during spring-summer season. These changes are due mainly to high fluctuations of water content in krill in the annual cycle.
Antarctic krill carbohydrate content was followed during 1983—84 Eighth Polish Antarctic Expedition. The Admiralty Bay (King George Island) was th area of study. The following average values of three estimated fractions were obtained: 3.77 +- 1.51%, 0.47 +- 0.34% and 3.30 +- 1.33% for total, TCA-soluble and TCA-insoluble carbohydrates, respectively. Percentage contribution of the estimated fractions to dry weight varied seasonally (1.48—7.41%, 0.15—1.83%, and 1.28—6.28%, respectively). The carbohydrate content showed a clearcut cycle of changes over the calender year, with a minimum in autumn-winter and a maximum in spring-summer.