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The Green Gut: chlorophyll degradation in the gut of Spodoptera littoralis

Item Type:Article
Title:The Green Gut: chlorophyll degradation in the gut of Spodoptera littoralis
Creators Name:Badgaa, A., Büchler, R., Wielsch, N., Walde, M., Heintzmann, R., Pauchet, Y., Svatos, A., Ploss, K. and Boland, W.
Abstract:Chlorophylls, the most prominent natural pigments, are part of the daily diet of herbivorous insects. The spectrum of ingested and digested chlorophyll metabolites compares well to the pattern of early chlorophyll-degradation products in senescent plants. Intact chlorophyll is rapidly degraded by proteins in the front- and midgut. Unlike plants, insects convert both chlorophyll a and b into the corresponding catabolites. MALDI-TOF/MS imaging allowed monitoring the distribution of the chlorophyll catabolites along the gut of Spodoptera littoralis larvae. The chlorophyll degradation in the fore- and mid-gut is strongly pH dependent, and requires alkaline conditions. Using LC-MS/MS analysis we identified a lipocalin-type protein in the intestinal fluid of S. littoralis homolog to the chlorophyllide a binding protein from Bombyx mori. Widefield and high-resolution autofluorescence microscopy revealed that the brush border membranes are covered with the chlorophyllide binding protein tightly bound via its GPI-anchor to the gut membrane. A function in defense against gut microbes is discussed.
Keywords:Chlorophyll, Chlorophyll Degradation, Lepidopterans, Chlorophyllide Binding Protein, Imaging of Chlorophyll Catabolites, Pheophorbide, Pyropheophorbide, Larval Gut Imaging, Animals, Spodoptera littoralis
Source:Journal of Chemical Ecology
Page Range:965-974
Date:November 2015
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10886-015-0636-0
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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