Biochemistry of Insects by Morris Rockstein

By Morris Rockstein

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The data remain insufficient to allow for any broad generalizations at this time. For example, Fig. 5 illus­ trates the relationship which exists between structural and soluble carbohy­ drates during the metamorphosis of L. cuprina. In this insect, lipids and proteins rather than carbohydrates provide most of the energy requirements for metamorphosis. The carbohydrate content decreases by about 20% dur­ ing pupariation and then remains relatively constant during the pharate adult stage. The synthesis of integumental chitin during the pharate adult stage takes place at the expense of glycogen.

This reaction is linked to the mitochondrial respiratory chain because the glycerol 3-phosphate pene­ trates the outer mitochondrial membrane and is then reoxidized. The glycerol 3-phosphate is reoxidized by a separate flavoprotein-linked GPDH which is bound to the outer surface of the inner mitochondrial membrane. The reduced flavoprotein, after serving as the coenzyme for this mitochond­ rial GPDH, is then transported across the inner membrane to the respiratory chain. The dihydroxyacetone phosphate re-enters the cytosol and becomes available as a substrate for further oxidation of NADH, thereby completing the shuttle.

Mellifera. Blum and his colleagues (1962) found that most of the carbohydrates of the reproductive system were present in the testes. Fructose and glucose were most abundant and made up 83% of the testicular carbohydrates. Within the semen most of the carbohydrates, which include fructose, glucose, and trehalose, were present in the plasm rather than the spermatozoa. Fructose was shown to be rapidly metabolized by the sper­ matozoa, and is therefore unlikely to be involved in their long-term storage in the spermatheca.

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