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Insects 2014, 5(2), 351-363; doi:10.3390/insects5020351

Glycolytic Activities in the Larval Digestive Tract of Trypoxylus dichotomus (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae)

1
Laboratory of Forest Zoology, Department of Forest Science and Resources, College of Bioresource Sciences, Nihon University, Fujisawa, Kanagawa 252-0880, Japan
2
Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology, Department of Applied Biological Science, College of Bioresource Sciences, Nihon University, Fujisawa, Kanagawa 252-0880, Japan
3
Laboratory of Applied Biochemistry, Department of Bioresource Science, Junior College, Nihon University, Fujisawa, Kanagawa 252-0880, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 March 2014 / Revised: 17 April 2014 / Accepted: 24 April 2014 / Published: 5 May 2014
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Abstract

The larvae of the Japanese horned beetle, Trypoxylus dichotomus (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Dynastinae), are an example of a saprophage insect. Generally, Scarabaeid larvae, such as T. dichotomus, eat dead plant matter that has been broken down by fungi, such as Basidiomycota. It is thought that β-1,3-glucan, a constituent polysaccharide in microbes, is abundant in decayed plant matter. Studies of the degradation mechanism of β-1,3-glucan under these circumstances are lacking. In the current study, we sought to clarify the relationship between the capacity to degrade polysaccharides and the food habits of the larvae. The total activities and optimum pH levels of several polysaccharide-degrading enzymes from the larvae were investigated. The foregut, midgut and hindgut of final instar larvae were used. Enzymatic activities were detected against five polysaccharides (soluble starch, β-1,4-xylan, β-1,3-glucan, pectin and carboxymethyl cellulose) and four glycosides (p-nitrophenyl (PNP)-β-N-acetylglucosaminide, PNP-β-mannoside, PNP-β-glucoside and PNP-β-xyloside). Our results indicate that the digestive tract of the larvae is equipped with a full enzymatic system for degrading β-1,3-glucan and β-1,4-xylan to monomers. This finding elucidates the role of the polysaccharide-digesting enzymes in the larvae, and it is suggested that the larvae use these enzymes to enact their decomposition ability in the forest environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: enzyme; insect; polysaccharide; forest enzyme; insect; polysaccharide; forest
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wada, N.; Sunairi, M.; Anzai, H.; Iwata, R.; Yamane, A.; Nakajima, M. Glycolytic Activities in the Larval Digestive Tract of Trypoxylus dichotomus (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Insects 2014, 5, 351-363.

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