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

Tryptophan metabolism in tsetse flies and the consequences of its derangement.

Literature comparing salmon and wild type Glossina morsitans morsitans and that comparing tan and wild type Glossina palpalis palpalis is reviewed. New information is presented on behaviour and biochemistry of salmon and wild type G. m. morsitans. The eye color mutants result from two lesions in the tryptophan to xanthommatin pathway: lack of tryptophan oxygenase in G. m morsitans and failure to produce or retain xanthommatin in eyes (but not in testes) of G. p. palpalis. The salmon allele in G. m. morsitans is pleiotropic and profoundly affects many aspects of fly biology including longevity, reproductive capacity, vision, vectorial capacity and duration of flight, but not circadian rhythms. The tan allele in G. p. palpalis has little effect upon the biology of flies under laboratory conditions, except that tan flies appear less active than normal. Adult tsetse flies metabolize tryptophan to kynurenine which is excreted; fluctuations in activities of the enzymes producing kynurenine suggest this pathway is under metabolic control.[1]


  1. Tryptophan metabolism in tsetse flies and the consequences of its derangement. Gooding, R.H., Rolseth, B.M. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz (1987) [Pubmed]
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