Conserved metallomics in two insect families evolving separately for a hundred million years

Polychronis Rempoulakis, Negar Afshar, Beatriz Osorio, Martha Barajas-Aceves, Joanna Szular, Sohel Ahmad, Thilakasiri Dammalage, Ulysses S to Tomas, Esther Nemny-Lavy, Mor Salomon, Marc J B Vreysen, David Nestel, Fanis Missirlis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


Μetal cofactors are required for enzymatic catalysis and structural stability of many proteins. Physiological metal requirements underpin the evolution of cellular and systemic regulatory mechanisms for metal uptake, storage and excretion. Considering the role of metal biology in animal evolution, this paper asks whether metal content is conserved between different fruit flies. A similar metal homeostasis was previously observed in Drosophilidae flies cultivated on the same larval medium. Each species accumulated in the order of 200 µg iron and zinc and approximately ten-fold less manganese and copper per gram dry weight of the adult insect. In this paper, data on the metal content in fourteen species of Tephritidae, which are major agricultural pests worldwide, are presented. These fruit flies can be polyphagous (e.g., Ceratitis capitata) or strictly monophagous (e.g., Bactrocera oleae) or oligophagous (e.g., Anastrepha grandis) and were maintained in the laboratory on five distinct diets based on olive oil, carrot, wheat bran, zucchini and molasses, respectively. The data indicate that overall metal content and distribution between the Tephritidae and Drosophilidae species was similar. Reduced metal concentration was observed in B. oleae. Feeding the polyphagous C. capitata with the diet of B. oleae resulted in a significant quantitative reduction of all metals. Thus, dietary components affect metal content in some Tephritidae. Nevertheless, although the evidence suggests some fruit fly species evolved preferences in the use or storage of particular metals, no metal concentration varied in order of magnitude between these two families of Diptera that evolved independently for over 100 million years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1323-1335
Number of pages13
JournalBiometals : an international journal on the role of metal ions in biology, biochemistry, and medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2014. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Agriculture
  • Evolution
  • Fruit flies of economic importance
  • Genetics
  • Mediterranean fruit fly
  • Nutrition
  • Physiology


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