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J Insect Physiol. 2004 Apr;50(4):337-49.

Metabolic fate of [14C]-labeled meal protein amino acids in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Center for Insect Sciences, University of Arizona, Biosciences West, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA.


We developed a method to follow the metabolic fate of [(14)C]-labeled Euglena gracilis protein amino acids in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes under three different adult nutritional regimes. Quantitative analysis of blood meal protein amino acid metabolism showed that most of the carbon of the amino acids was either oxidized to CO(2) or excreted as waste. Under the three different adult nutritional regimes, no significant differences in the metabolism of amino acids were found, which indicated that the female A. aegypti mosquitoes possess a substantial capacity of maintaining metabolic homeostasis during a gonotrophic cycle. The amount of maternal glycogen and lipid after egg laying were significantly lower in the mosquitoes that underwent a partial starvation before a blood meal and/or starvation after the blood meal. The content of egg lipid or protein or the number of eggs laid did not show a significant difference among the three different regimes, which indicates that stable fecundity of A. aegypti under the partial starvation before a blood meal and/or starvation after the blood meal seemed to result from a trade-off between current fecundity and future survival after the eggs laid. The methods described in this paper can be applied to a wide range of questions about the effects of environmental conditions on the utilization of blood meal amino acids.

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