We investigated the patterns of total lipid, glycogen, hemolymph carbohydrate, and trichloroacetic acid-precipitable protein contents starting 8 h before puparium formation and throughout the whole metamorphosis of the Medfly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann). In addition, during the early stages of metamorphosis, we measured the activity of acid proteinases and glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH), an important enzymatic link between amino acids and the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Lipids accumulate during the larval-dispersal phase and the first 20 h of the prepupal stage. Thereafter, levels decline slightly throughout the pupal stage and first half of the pharate-adult stage, and drastically decline toward the last hours of metamorphosis. Glycogen and hemolymph carbohydrates are highly used from the moment the larvae leave the diet until the mid-pupal stage, then glycogen increases toward the mid pharate-adult and decreases again to low levels at the moment of adult emergence. Protein levels decrease during the prepupal stage (coinciding with a rise in acid proteinase activity) recovering toward the pharate-adult stage. GDH activity increases during the prepupal stage, attaining maximal activity at the onset of the pupal stage and then declines to low levels. This high GDH activity may be linked to the conversion of glutamate to α-ketoglutarate while proteins are being broken during tissue histolysis. Our results are discussed in view of the differential utilization of metabolites during metamorphosis.
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Vol. 96 • No. 3