Host hemolymph proteins and protein digestion in larval Habrobracon hebetor (Hymenoptera: braconidae).Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2000 Oct; 30(10):937-46.IB
Host plasma proteins and protein digestion in larval parasitoids were studied during trophic interactions of the ectoparasitoid Habrobracon hebetor Say (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), with a host, larvae of the Indianmeal moth, Plodia interpunctella Hübner (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). We could detect no apparent differences in host hemolymph protein patterns up to 72 h after paralysation and/or parasitization by H. hebetor. A 190 kDa putative apolipophorin I present in host hemolymph could not be detected in the midguts of feeding H. hebetor larvae indicating that it is rapidly digested. The major 60 kDa storage proteins (putative hexamerins) in host hemolymph were detected in the parasitoid midgut and were completely digested 24 h after cessation of feeding and the beginning of cocoon formation. Host hemolymph had a pH of about 6.4. The pH optima of the midgut proteinases in the larval parasitoid were in the alkaline region, but midgut fluid in feeding parasitoid larvae was about pH 6. 8. Based on enzyme activity against selected artificial proteinase substrates including azocasein, N-alpha-benzoyl-L-Arg p-nitroanilide (BApNA), succinyl-Ala-Ala-Pro-Phe p-nitroanilide (SAAPFpNA), succinyl-Ala-Ala-Pro-Leu p-nitroanilide (SAAPLpNA), and inhibition by selected proteinase inhibitors, serine proteinases appear to be the predominant class of enzymes involved in protein digestion in the midguts of H. hebetor. There is also an active aminopeptidase (LpNA) associated with the microsomal fraction of midgut preparations. There was no evidence for preoral digestion or ingestion of proteinases from host hemolymph by the parasitoid larva. There was a very active BApNAase in the soluble fraction of midgut extracts. This activity increased on a per midgut basis up to 24 h after the beginning of cocoon formation but decreased rapidly by 48 h. Two major (P1 and P3) and several minor proteinases were detected in midgut extracts of H. hebetor analysed with gelatin zymograms. The apparent molecular mass of P1 varied from 95 to 49 kDa depending on protein loading. P3 had an apparent molecular mass of 39 kDa that was independent of protein loading. In summary, electrophoretic evidence indicates that host hemolymph protein patterns do not change significantly for at least 72 h after paralysation by H. hebetor. The role, if any, of envenomization in preventing breakdown of hemolymph proteins during this time remains to be determined. Because the predominant host hemolymph proteins, a putative apolipophorin I and the putative hexamerins, are readily digested by the serine proteinases present in the midguts of this parasitoid larva, these or similar proteins would provide an easily digested source of dietary amino acids that could be used for development of artificial diets for this beneficial insect.