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

Changes in gut and Malpighian tubule transport during seasonal acclimatization and freezing in the gall fly Eurosta solidaginis.

Since few studies have examined cold tolerance at the organ level in insects, our primary objective was to characterize the functional responses of the gut and Malpighian tubules (MT) to seasonal acclimatization, chilling and freezing in larvae of the goldenrod gall fly Eurosta solidaginis Fitch (Diptera, Tephritidae). From September to December, hemolymph osmolality (455-926 mOsmol kg l(-1)) and freezing tolerance increased markedly in field-collected larvae. Chlorophenol Red was readily transported into the lumen of the foregut, the posterior portion of the midgut, the ureter, the proximal region of the anterior pair of MT, and entire posterior pair of MT. Ouabain and KCN inhibited transport of Chlorophenol Red in the gut and MT. Transport was readily detected at 0 degrees C and the rate of transport was directly related to temperature. The rate of fluid transport by the MT decreased steadily from a monthly high in September (10.7+/-0.8 nl min(-1) for the anterior pair; 12.7+/-1.0 nl min(-1) for the posterior pair) until secretion was no longer detectable in December; this decrease parallels entry into diapause for this species. Even in larvae that died following freezing for 40 days at -20 degrees C, individual organ function was retained to a limited extent. Through the autumn, cholesterol concentrations in the hemolymph increased nearly fourfold. In contrast, the ratio of cholesterol to protein content (nmol mg l(-1)) in the MT membrane remained relatively constant (22 approximately 24 nmol mg l(-1) protein) during this period. Freezing of larvae for 20 days at -20 degrees C caused a significant decrease in cholesterol levels in the hemolymph and the MT membranes compared to unfrozen controls. These results suggest that cholesterol plays a role in seasonal cold hardening and freeze tolerance in insects.[1]


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