Fabian Seitz

   Department of Insect Symbiosis
   Research Group Sequestration and Detoxification in Insects
 Phone:-Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology
 Fax:-Hans-Knöll-Straße 8
  emailD-07745 Jena

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Current Research (Master Thesis): “Morphological and physiological adaptations to glucosinolate sequestration in Phyllotreta armoraciae.”

Many insects take up and accumulate secondary plant metabolites as defence against their own natural enemies, a phenomenon termed sequestration. The horseradish flea beetle, Phyllotreta armoraciae, sequesters glucosinolates, the characteristic defence compounds of plants of the order Brassicales.
Recent research showed that P. armoraciae adults rapidly absorb glucosinolates across the foregut epithelium. This is surprising because the insect foregut is covered by a chitin-containing cuticle and thus is generally considered not to be involved in absorption. To identify potential morphological adaptations to glucosinolate uptake in the foregut, I compare the foregut morphology of P. armoraciae with that of two other leaf beetle species using different microscopic techniques (Confocal Laser-Scanning Microscopy and Transmission Electron Microscopy).
Previous work also demonstrated that P. armoraciae beetles excrete sequestered glucosinolates to balance glucosinolate uptake and maintain stable glucosinolate levels in the body. Glucosinolate excretion is most likely mediated by the Malpighian tubules, the main excretory organ of insects, but their role in glucosinolate homeostasis is not well understood. To enable physiological studies on the role of Malpighian tubules in glucosinolate sequestration in P. armoraciae, I aim to establish the Ramsay assay with isolated Malpighian tubules of this species. This physiological assay is used to study transport processes across Malpighian tubule epithelium.
Together, this research will provide a more thorough understanding of glucosinolate homeostasis in P. armoraciae.
last updated on 2019-12-18