Submitted to: Silverleaf Whitefly: 1997 Supplement to the Five Year National Research and
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Uptake and metabolism of sucrose by adult silverleaf whiteflies were investigated on defined diets containing sucrose concentrations from 3 to 30%. At an optimal pH of 7, the volume of liquid ingested decreased with increasing dietary sucrose concentration, but the amount of sucrose ingested showed a net increase. Above a dietary sucrose concentration of about 10%, a greater amount of the ingested carbon was excreted by the whiteflies than was retained, and the proportion that was excreted increased progressively with increasing dietary sucrose concentration. Carbohydrate analysis showed that the composition of excreted honeydew changed from predominantly glucose and fructose at low dietary sucrose concentrations to predominantly trehalulose at high concentrations, with little change in the proportion of larger oligosaccharides. Measurements of whitefly trehalulose synthase and sucrase activities revealed that the enzymatic potential for metabolizing sucrose shifted from favoring sucrose hydrolysis at low sucrose concentrations to sucrose isomerization at high sucrose concentrations. Thus, the amount of trehalulose synthesized by the silverleaf whitefly was directly related to the properties of trehalulose synthase and sucrase and the concentration of sucrose in the diet. We propose that trehalulose is synthesized for excretion when the carbon input from sucrose is in excess of metabolic needs.