Tannin sensitivity in larvae of Malacosoma disstria (Lepidoptera): Roles of the peritrophic envelope and midgut oxidationTannin sensitivity in larvae of Malacosoma disstria (Lepidoptera): Roles of the peritrophic envelope and midgut oxidation

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Martin, Michael M. Barbehenn, Raymond V.
Ann Arbor Department of Biology, University of Michigan, 48109-1048, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Final-instar Malacosoma disstria fed artificial diets containing tannic acid develop lethal pupal deformities. We examined some of the factors potentially underlying tannin sensitivity in this species, including the permeability of the peritrophic envelope to tannic acid and the chemical fate of tannic acid in the gut. Tannic acid does not penetrate the peritrophic envelope of M. disstria , demonstrating that the containment of tannic acid within the endoperitrophic space is not sufficient to protect an insect herbivore from the adverse effects of ingested tannins. Ingested tannic acid undergoes extensive chemical modification in the midgut. Only 19–21 % of the high molecular weight components of the tannic acid ingested was recovered in the frass. Of two possible chemical fates of ingested tannic acid, oxidation is the predominant chemical transformation, whereas little hydrolysis occurs. Measurements of gut redox parameters showed that conditions in the midgut favor the oxidation of phenols. However, similar conditions occur in the midguts of Orgyia leucostigma , in which no oxidation occurs. Therefore, oxidizing gut redox conditions do not necessarily lead to polyphenol oxidation in lepidopteran larvae. We conclude that the sensitivity of M. disstria to ingested tannins is a consequence of their oxidation in the midgut. 
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers; Plenum Publishing Corporation ; Springer Science+Business Media 
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