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Biochem Genet. 1999 Feb;37(1-2):53-62.

Adaptation to a starch environment and regulation of alpha-amylase in Drosophila.

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Department of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, Faculty of Integrated Arts and Sciences, University of Tokushima, Japan.


The adaptation to glucose and starch foods in six species, D. melanogaster, D. virilis, D. saltans, D. funebris, D. levanonensis and D. americana, was studied by measuring productivity. D. melanogaster and D. virilis adapted more to the starch environment than to the glucose environment, while D. saltans adapted more to the glucose environment than to the starch environment. D. funebris, D. levanonensis, and D. americana did not distinctly adapt to either environment. In addition, the regulation of amylase in the six species was investigated by measuring the levels of amylase activity with glucose and starch food environments. The levels of amylase activity in D. levanonensis and D. saltans were substantially low, indicating that these species cannot utilize starch as a carbon source. The starch-adapted species, D. melanogaster and D. virilis, showed higher levels of amylase activity with the starch environment and higher inducibility. These results suggest that changing the regulation of amylase is important for the adaptation to a starch environment in Drosophila.

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