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Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2013 Nov;43(11):991-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2013.08.002. Epub 2013 Aug 20.

Biosynthesis of linoleic acid in Tyrophagus mites (Acarina: Acaridae).

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  • 1Division of Applied Life Sciences, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.


We report here that Tyrophagus similis and Tyrophagus putrescentiae (Astigmata: Acaridae) have the ability to biosynthesize linoleic acid [(9Z, 12Z)-9, 12-octadecadienoic acid] via a Δ12-desaturation step, although animals in general and vertebrates in particular appear to lack this ability. When the mites were fed on dried yeast enriched with d31-hexadecanoic acid (16:0), d27-octadecadienoic acid (18:2), produced from d31-hexadecanoic acid through elongation and desaturation reactions, was identified as a major fatty acid component of phosphatidylcholines (PCs) and phosphatidylethanolamines (PEs) in the mites. The double bond position of d27-octadecadienoic acid (18:2) of PCs and PEs was determined to be 9 and 12, respectively by dimethyldisulfide (DMDS) derivatization. Furthermore, the GC/MS retention time of methyl 9, 12-octadecadienoate obtained from mite extracts agreed well with those of authentic linoleic acid methyl ester. It is still unclear whether the mites themselves or symbiotic microorganisms are responsible for inserting a double bond into the Δ12 position of octadecanoic acid. However, we present here the unique metabolism of fatty acids in the mites.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Biosynthesis of linoleic acid; CDL; DMDS; ESI; Essential fatty acids; GC/MS; LC/MS; LPC; LPE; PC; PE; PI; Tyrophagus mites; curved desolvation line; dimethyldisulfide; electron spray ionization; gas chromatography mass spectrometry; liquid chromatography mass spectrometry; lyso phospatidylethanolamine; lysophosphatidylcholine; phosphatidylcholine; phosphatidylethanolamine; phosphatidylinositol; Δ12-Desaturase

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