Advances in Respirometry

Insect Respirometry

At Qubit Systems our aim has always been to provide the best quality research equipment at the most affordable prices. As much as possible we try to ensure that budgetary limitations do not limit the creative scope of our clients, and we are proud that Qubit equipment has featured in numerous high impact publications for more than 27 years. Below, we celebrate some recent publications featuring our respirometry equipment for insects, small animals and larger critters. Whether you are an old-hand at respirometry, or new to the field, we’d love to discuss your work with you, and determine how we may assist in equipping your laboratory to your best scientific and budgetary advantage.

RP1LP Low Range Respirometry Package (from $13,400 US)

Q-Box RP1LP Low range Respiration Package

The Q-Box RP1LP Low Range Respiration Package is designed to measure the metabolic rate of small animals such as insects, reptiles, amphibians, other invertebrates, and small mammals in an open-flow or stop-flow gas exchange system. Automatic calculations of VO2 and VCO2 are displayed in the software during data collection. The RP1LP can also be used for measurements of CO2 and O2 exchange in colonies of fungi, microorganisms or in the headspace of chambers containing aquatic organisms. When combined with Qubit’s Gas Switching System measurements of respiration rates and RQ are possible for up to 7 organisms (8 channel system including reference). An advantage of the Q-Box design is that all components are modular and may be removed for use in stand-alone applications. Also, should you need a CO2 analyzer with a higher range to study larger animals, the Q-Box RP1LP can be converted into a Q-Box RP2LP High Range Respirometry System by substituting the Q-S151 CO2 analyzer for a Q-S153 CO2 analyzer. And because accidents happen, should you damage any component of the Q-Box, you can send just that one item back to us for repair, and we’ll send you a replacement within days to ensure the briefest possible interruption in your research.  Learn MORE

S159 Integrated CO2/O2 Analyzer (from $8,000 US)

S159-PF CO2 and O2 Analyzer

For a light weight, ultra-portable gas exchanges system for extreme environments, the S159 CO2 and O2 Analyzer combines a flow-through non-dispersive infrared CO2 analyzer, a galvanic cell O2 sensor, and a pressure sensor inside a rugged, temperature-controlled case.  The CO2 analyzer may be customized to different ranges from ppm to % with resolution depending on the range. The S159 is a flow-through analyzer that can be provided with a built-in gas pump (S159-P) and, if required, a mass flow monitor (S159-PF).  The temperature-controlled, rugged case and optional battery pack make it ideal for field applications.  We recommend using Qubit Systems’  data interface and software (optional) but other data acquisition systems may also be used. Learn MORE

Recent Publications

Mortality, metabolic rate, and oviposition of Gryllus assimilis females (Fabricius, 1775) (Orthoptera: Gryllidae) under constant and fluctuation warm temperatures. Boaventura Lobo Centeno Filho et al.  Journal of Thermal Biology 105  (2023)

The PPR domain of mitochondrial RNA polymerase is an exoribonuclease required for mtDNA replication in Drosophila melanogaster. Yi Liu et al. Nature Cell Biology (2022)

Customized Large Animal Systems

pig - large animal systems

Over the 27 years of Qubit operations, we have built and installed numerous custom-designed single-channel and multichannel gas exchange systems for studies with large animals including seals, pigs, cats, dogs, cattle… oh, and humans too. We design and build customized large animal chambers, and our partners can provide multifunctional chambers for full phenotyping solutions. Our gas analysis and control systems can be integrated into metabolic rooms for monitoring energy expenditure, with flow rates of +2000 L/min.  Contact us to discuss your requirements.

Focus on Dr. Anna Kate Shoveller (University of Guelph)

Dr. Kate Shoveller is a Professor and Champion Petfoods Chair in Canine and Feline Nutrition, Physiology and Metabolism at the University of Guelph, and is a world leader in animal nutrition research. She has more than 200 publications featuring her work with dogs, cats, pigs and sheep, many of which involve measurements of respirometry and energy expenditure using gas exchange apparatus custom-designed by Qubit Systems. We thank Kate for her support and look forward to our continued association.

Most recent publication:

Evaluation of standardized ileal digestibility of amino acids and metabolic availability of methionine, using the indicator amino acid oxidation method, in black soldier fly larvae (Hermetia illucens) meal fed to growing pigs. Fiona Tansil et al., Journal of Animal Science, 2022, 101, 1–12.

Aquatic Respirometry (from $6,700 US)

Aquatic Respirometry

Qubit’s Q-Box Aqua (from $8000 US) may be used for monitoring O2 consumption rates in a wide variety of large and small aquatic animals. Metabolic O2 consumption is measured by intermittent-flow respirometry in which measurements are made sequentially without removing the sample from the chamber. The chamber is flushed with fresh water between measurements. Dissolved oxygen data corrected for salinity, temperature and pressure are displayed in software and used to calculate VO2.  All the components of the Q-Box AQUA Package are housed in a rugged weather proof case for easy transport and storage. Learn MORE

Mini-AQUA for small samples

For aquatic respirometry measurements of small fish and insect larvae (~1g) Qubit offers the Mini-Aqua package, a modified version of the Q-Box AQUA with a small aquatic respirometer chamber (9mL) and components for a system with a smaller total volume. The mini-AQUA package also features a micro-chamber (1.23mL) with a DO probe in the top portion for measurements of VO2 of very small samples such as larvae and juvenile fish less than 0.5g. The micro-chamber is used in the intermittent stop-flow mode, resulting in high sensitivity and resolution.

Most Recent Publication:

Experimental manipulation of microbiota reduces host thermal tolerance and fitness under heat stress in a vertebrate ectotherm.  Samantha S. Fontaine et al. (2022) Nature Ecology & Evolution

Teaching Respirometry - Laboratory Packages from $3,450 US

teaching respiromtery

Qubit Systems offers a range of Q-teach packages for teaching animal and insect respirometry. Q-teach packages come complete with gas analyzers, sensors, a data interface, software, and all accessories, including sample chambers, required for a successful hands-on laboratory educational experience. Each package contains an operational manual and an experimental manual with detailed descriptions of suggested experiments. Q-teach packages are easy to set up, have low maintenance, and are economically priced for outfitting the teaching laboratory with multiple systems. Learn MORE

Q-teach animal CO2 data
When purchasing a new gas exchange system for research purposes, I took a chance with Qubit systems; they claimed to produce a competitive system at almost half the price of those of more established companies. I am happy to say that I am entirely happy with my decision. I now have a reliable and versatile system that is just as accurate as the more expensive competition and, because it is modular, can be expanded as my needs evolve. Most importantly, I received outstanding service during all phases of purchase: conception, ordering, installation and continuing help.Dr. Bill ShipleyDépartement de Biologie, Université de Sherbrooke, Canada