Nov 13, 2007

Influence of dietary nutritional composition on caterpillar salivary enzyme activity

Journal of Insect Physiology
Branislav BabicJacqueline C Bede


Caterpillars are faced with nutritional challenges when feeding on plants. In addition to harmful secondary metabolites and protein- and water-limitations, tissues may be carbohydrate-rich which may attenuate optimal caterpillar performance. Therefore, caterpillars have multiple strategies to cope with surplus carbohydrates. In this study, we raise the possibility of a pre-ingestive mechanism to metabolically deal with excess dietary sugars. Many Noctuid caterpillars secrete the labial salivary enzyme glucose oxidase (GOX), which oxidizes glucose to hydrogen peroxide and gluconate, a nutritionally unavailable carbohydrate to the insect. Beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua, larvae were restricted to diets varying in protein to digestible carbohydrate (P:C) ratio (42p:21c; 33p:30c; 21p:42c) and total nutrient concentration (42% and 63%). High mortality and longer developmental time were observed when caterpillars were reared on the C-biased, P-poor diet (21p:42c). As the carbohydrate content of the diet increased, caterpillars egested excess glucose and a diet-dependent difference in assimilated carbohydrates and pupal biomass was not observed, even though caterpillars restricted to the C-biased diet (21p:42c) accumulated greater pu...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Metabolic Process, Cellular
Neuro-Oncological Ventral Antigen 2
Signaling Molecule
Carbohydrate nutrients
Hydrogen Peroxide
Dietary Carbohydrates
Enzymes, antithrombotic
Medicago truncatula
Cell Respiration
Bos taurus

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