Term of Award

Fall 2008

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Department

Department of Biology

Committee Chair

William S. Irby

Committee Member 1

Laura B. Regassa

Committee Member 2

Quentin Q. Fang

Abstract

The acquisition of hexamerin proteins in the pitcher plant mosquito, Wyeomyia smithii shows a North-South cline in the southeastern United States. Adult female W. smithii in North Carolina are completely autogenous and larger in size (based on wing length). They are anautogenous in Florida and smaller in size. The adult females in Georgia are intermediate in size with both autogenous and anautogenous behavior. Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis (SDS- PAGE) of adult female Wyeomyia smithii revealed a specific temporal pattern of utilization of hexamerin proteins for egg protein, vitellogenin, synthesis. W. smithii from North Carolina utilize majority of stored hexamerins in 30 hours after emergence with simultaneous increase in vitellogenins. Those from Georgia retain hexamerins for up to 42 hours and vitelliogenins build up after 36 hours. Florida subpopulation show delayed utilization of hexamerin reserves with delayed egg laying (vitellogenins accrue rapidly after 60 hours). Male pupae store less protein relative to females and utilize them within 6 hours after emergence into adults.

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