Diverse systems with distinctive approaches characterized the presentations in the Insect Gut Physiology and Nutrition Symposium, held during the Fourth International Conference in Africa for Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry at Mara, Kenya, in July 2008. Within the broad topic of insect nutrition, symposium talks examined the feeding behaviour and plant preference of mosquitoes, the effects of dietary levels of protein on grasshopper reproduction and longevity, and the dependence of honeybee survival on certain dietary components. Gut physiology was represented by a sophisticated study of membrane potential in the springtail, the gut as a point of infection for Sindbis virus in mosquito, and a study of the gut transcriptome and proteome of a coleopteran storage pest. A study of chemical ecology described methods currently being used in Kenya to control locust damage to crops. These presentations provided unique perspectives of insect nutrition and gut physiology as related to insect control or improved understanding of beneficial insects.
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