Effects of Diflubenzuron on the Stabilisation of Protein within the Cuticular Matrix of the Locust (Ensifera: Locustidae)
Vincent, Julian Francis Vincent; Clarke, Lesley
In the cuticula of adult Locusta migratoria migratorioides (Reiche & Fairmaire 1895) there are strong correlations between the amounts of chitin and protein. Pharate cuticula holds more protein per unit weight of chitin than does cuticula of the mature adult. Reduction in the chitin content with Diflubenzuron results in a reduction of the amount of protein stabilised within the cuticula. In general the heavily sclerotised regions are less affected: arthrodial membrane will not grow in the absence of chitin. It seems, from measurements on ketocatechol content, that it is not the degree of sclerotisation which is important in stabilising the protein, but some inherent property of the protein, possibly its hydrophobicity. - These findings support the view that cuticula is formed upon a scaffold of chitin which is saturated with the matrix proteins.