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Keywords:

  • Phormia regina;
  • blowfly;
  • Diptera;
  • in vitro assay;
  • juvenile hormone;
  • corpora allata;
  • dietary influence

ABSTRACT. Incubation conditions have been established for the corpus cardiacum-corpus allatum (CC-CA) complex of female Phormia regina (Meigen), which will support CC-CA biosynthetic activities in vitro as measured by the incorporation of a labelled methyl group with L-[methyl-3H]methionine as the methyl donor. After incubation, radioactivity in the organic extract of the medium was determined by scintillation counting. Analysis of the organic extract with reverse phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) revealed that a compound which has similar retention time (UV absorbance) with synthetic JH III was synthesized by the CC-CA complexes of liver-fed females. By using this short-term, in vitro, radiochemical assay for CA activity, it was shown that a protein diet significantly increases the activity of the CA compared with females fed only a sugar-water diet. Furthermore, use of HPLC separation, in conjunction with scintillation counting of time-collected fractions, demonstrated the existence of a moiety containing incorporated radiolabeled methyl group (from the methionine) which did not co-elute with JH I or JH III standards. These results suggest that in P. regina use of the incorporation of a radiolabeled methyl group to measure JH biosynthesis (CA activity) can be misleading if the compounds which do not co-elute with JHs are not considered.