Title

How does the Oakworm Get its Strips?

Faculty Mentor(s)

Evan Lampert, Paula Nolibos

Campus

Gainesville

Proposal Type

Poster

Subject Area

Biology

Location

Robinson Ballroom B

Start Date

1-4-2015 12:00 PM

End Date

1-4-2015 1:30 PM

Description/Abstract

Animals with chemical defenses typically exhibit aposematic coloration, or warning coloration. It is common in insects to sequester these toxic chemicals from their host plants. The insect Anisota peigleri, commonly referred to as the yellow striped oakworm (YSO), demonstrates such coloration. The only food for YSO are oak tree leaves. An oak leaf produces a variety of organic compounds, which could include toxic metabolites. Yellow striped oakworms could possibly sequester these metabolites to enhance their defense mechanisms. Therefore, the objective of this research is to determine if YSO is toxic, and if so, if the toxic metabolites are sequestered from the oak leaf or synthesized by the YSO. To determine if the YSO is toxic, gut contents and body fluids were offered to ants along with a 5% sugar solution as control. A high percentage of ants preferred gut contents to either alternative. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was then performed to determine the availability of organic compounds and possible toxic metabolites in the body fluids of YSO. The HPLC test will also be used to determine shared compounds and toxic metabolites between the yellow striped oakworm and the oak leaves. Results would therefore be used to determine if YSO are toxic, and the origin of the toxic metabolites. This research can add to the body of knowledge about animal warning coloration and toxicity.

Note to Conference Administrators

This research is funded by a faculty scholar award, EL and PN

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Apr 1st, 12:00 PM Apr 1st, 1:30 PM

How does the Oakworm Get its Strips?

Robinson Ballroom B

Animals with chemical defenses typically exhibit aposematic coloration, or warning coloration. It is common in insects to sequester these toxic chemicals from their host plants. The insect Anisota peigleri, commonly referred to as the yellow striped oakworm (YSO), demonstrates such coloration. The only food for YSO are oak tree leaves. An oak leaf produces a variety of organic compounds, which could include toxic metabolites. Yellow striped oakworms could possibly sequester these metabolites to enhance their defense mechanisms. Therefore, the objective of this research is to determine if YSO is toxic, and if so, if the toxic metabolites are sequestered from the oak leaf or synthesized by the YSO. To determine if the YSO is toxic, gut contents and body fluids were offered to ants along with a 5% sugar solution as control. A high percentage of ants preferred gut contents to either alternative. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was then performed to determine the availability of organic compounds and possible toxic metabolites in the body fluids of YSO. The HPLC test will also be used to determine shared compounds and toxic metabolites between the yellow striped oakworm and the oak leaves. Results would therefore be used to determine if YSO are toxic, and the origin of the toxic metabolites. This research can add to the body of knowledge about animal warning coloration and toxicity.