Chemical compounds covering the insect cuticle have several functions ranging from protection against water loss to inter- and intra-specific communication. Their composition is determined by several intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Among these factors, laboratory rearing has been poorly investigated even though it has a strong potential for biasing behavioral experiments. We selected an invasive species with unknown cuticular mixtures as a model. Our aim was to describe its mixtures and to determine if highly simplified laboratory rearing conditions interact with sexual signatures. We analyzed the cuticle by means of two different techniques – gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and matrixassisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) – to obtain data on a wide range of compounds with different molecular weight. We found that both sets of chemicals showed correlations with gender but also that cuticular waxes detected by GC/MS were highly dependent on rearing conditions, with a strong bias in sexual dimorphism. Conversely, the heavier signatures detected by MALDI-TOF showed a less clear diversification between sexes, although the discrimination power was unaffected by rearing conditions. The biological and practical implications of our findings are discussed.
|Autori:||Dapporto, L.;Baracchi, D.;Benessai, D.;Capretti, P.;Roversi, P.F.;Turillazzi, S.|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2013|
|Titolo:||Major changes in the sex differences in cuticular chemical profiles of the western conifer seed bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis) after laboratory rearing.|
|Rivista:||JOURNAL OF INSECT PHYSIOLOGY|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|