Free amino acids in spider hemolymph


We examined the free amino acid composition of hemolymph from representatives of five spider families with an interest in knowing if the amino acid profile in the hemolymph of orb–web-building spiders reflects the high demands for small organic compounds in the sticky droplets of their webs. In nearly all analyses, on both orb and non-orb builders, glutamine was the most abundant free amino acid. Glycine, taurine, proline, histidine, and alanine also tended to be well-represented in orb and non-orb builders. While indications of taxon-specific differences in amino acid composition were observed, it was not apparent that two presumptive precursors (glutamine, taurine) of orb web sticky droplet compounds were uniquely enriched in araneids (orb builders). However, total amino acid concentrations were invariably highest in the araneids and especially so in overwintering juveniles, even as several of the essential amino acids declined during this winter diapause. Comparing the data from this study with those from earlier studies revealed a number of discrepancies. The possible origins of these differences are discussed.

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Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part B: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology



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Copyright © 2008, Elsevier