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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Phytosterol metabolism and absorption in the generalist grasshopper, Schistocerca americana (Orthoptera: Acrididae).

A series of experiments, using GLC, RP-HPLC, and GC-MS techniques, were performed to examine the metabolic fate and absorption of different dietary sterols in the grasshopper Schistocerca americana. In the first experiment, grasshoppers were reared on diets containing different sterols presented singly. Cholesterol was the dominant tissue sterol recovered from cholesterol and "soybean sitosterol" fed grasshoppers but among the grasshoppers fed diets with stigmasterol and spinach sterols (both unsuitable for growth and development), the amount of cholesterol recovered was not different from that of newly hatched grasshoppers. In the second experiment, grasshoppers were given diets containing mixtures of soybean sitosterol and stigmasterol and the metabolic fate of these dietary sterols was recorded. Results from this experiment suggest that the presence of an unsuitable dietary sterol does not interfere with cholesterol production from sitosterol. They also demonstrate that large quantities of unmetabolized dietary sterols with C-24 ethyl groups are recovered from grasshoppers fed diets containing stigmasterol. Finally, tissue sterol profiles of grasshoppers with and without their midguts were compared. Results suggest that the midgut is the major tissue where unmetabolized dietary sterols accumulate. How these sterol metabolic constraints impact development and survival is discussed as well as the impact they might have on grasshopper feeding behavior. Arch.[1]


  1. Phytosterol metabolism and absorption in the generalist grasshopper, Schistocerca americana (Orthoptera: Acrididae). Behmer, S.T., Elias, D.O., Grebenok, R.J. Arch. Insect Biochem. Physiol. (1999) [Pubmed]
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