Sugar, amino acid and inorganic ion profiling of the honeydew from different hemipteran species feeding on Abies alba and Picea abies

Autoři: Basel Shaaban aff001;  Victoria Seeburger aff002;  Annette Schroeder aff002;  Gertrud Lohaus aff001
Působiště autorů: Molecular Plant Science / Plant Biochemistry, University of Wuppertal, Wuppertal, Germany aff001;  Apicultural State Institute, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 15(1)
Kategorie: Research Article


Several hemipteran species feed on the phloem sap of plants and produce large amounts of honeydew that is collected by bees to produce honeydew honey. Therefore, it is important to know whether it is predominantly the hemipteran species or the host plant to influence the honeydew composition. This is particularly relevant for those botanical and zoological species from which the majority of honeydew honey originates. To investigate this issue, honeydew from two Cinara species located on Abies alba as well as from two Cinara and two Physokermes species located on Picea abies were collected. Phloem exudates of the host plants were also analyzed. Honeydew of all species contained different proportions of hexoses, sucrose, melezitose, erlose, and further di- and trisaccharides, whereas the phloem exudates of the host trees contained no trisaccharides. Moreover, the proportions of sugars differed significantly between hemipteran species feeding on the same tree species. Sucrose hydrolysis and oligosaccharide formation was shown in whole-body homogenates of aphids. The type of the produced oligosaccharides in the aphid-extracts correlated with the oligosaccharide composition in the honeydew of the different aphid species. The total contents of amino acids and inorganic ions in the honeydew were much lower than the sugar content. Glutamine and glutamate were predominant amino acids in the honeydew of all six hemipteran species and also in the phloem exudates of both tree species. Potassium was the dominant inorganic ion in all honeydew samples and also in the phloem exudate. Statistical analyses reveal that the sugar composition of honeydew is determined more by the hemipteran species than by the host plant. Consequently, it can be assumed that the sugar composition of honeydew honey is also more influenced by the hemipteran species than by the host tree.

Klíčová slova:

Amino acid analysis – Aphids – Fructoses – Honey – Insects – Phloem – Plants – Sucrose


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