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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SUSTAINABLE AND ORGANIC MANAGEMENT OF SELECTED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES Title: Free amino acid profiles in reproductive and rind portions of cotton fruiting bodies

item Showler, Allan

Submitted to: Subtropical Plant Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 10, 2009
Publication Date: December 7, 2009
Citation: Showler, A.T. 2009. Free amino acid profiles in reproductive and rind portions of cotton fruiting bodies. Subtropical Plant Science. 61:37-48.

Interpretive Summary: Boll weevil nutrition in terms of amino acids found in different parts of its principle host plant, cotton, is poorly understood. In this study, the outer rind and the inner reproductive portions of fruiting bodies at various stages of growth were analyzed for free amino acid contents. Seventeen free amino acids were quantified in each part and it was determined that portions of the fruiting bodies which, when fed on, result in greater fecundity and longevity, had greater accumulations of free cystine and/or methionine, both known to contribute toward egg formation.

Technical Abstract: Boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis grandis Boheman, nutrition, particularly in terms of amino acids found in its principle reproductive plant host (plants that enable boll weevil reproduction by supplying the nutrients and sites for development to adulthood) is not well understood. However, it is known that certain cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L., fruiting body stages enhance longevity and fecundity more than other stages. The effects of feeding adult female boll weevils exclusively on the reproductive portion (in squares: anthers, stamens, style, and ovary; in bolls: ovaries and developing seeds and lint) or rinds (developing calyx and petals of squares; the outer casing, or husk, of bolls) of match-head (2–3 mm diameter), medium (3.1–5.4 mm diameter), and large (5.5–8 mm diameter) squares, and post-bloom (1–2 d after petal senescence), young (5–10 d old), and mature (3–5 wk old) bolls on longevity and fecundity were observed. Seventeen free amino acids (FAAs) were quantified in each of the 10 fruiting body part treatments. Despite the detection of many treatment differences in individual FAAs, methionine appears to have a particularly critical role in adult boll weevil survival and reproduction, and cystine seems to play a strong role in egg formation.

Last Modified: 4/16/2014
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