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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Metabolomics reveals changes in metabolite profiles due to growth and metamorphosis during the ontogeny of the northern damselfly

Spath, Jana; Brodin, Tomas; McCallum, Erin; Cerveny, Daniel; Fick, Jerker; Nording, Malin L.;

Abstract

Many insects have complex life cycles where a drastic ontogenetic change happens between the larval stages and the adult stage, i.e. metamorphosis. Damselflies (order Odonata, suborder Zygoptera) are widely distributed and ecologically important semi-aquatic insects with a complex life cycle. Phenotypic changes over damselfly ontogeny have been documented, however, if and how metabolite profiles are also changing is currently unknown. Here we used a metabolomics methodology to gain insights into the metabolic changes during the life cycle of the Northern damselfly (Coenagrion hastulatum). Hatchlings of wild-caught damselflies were reared in the laboratory and metabolomics analyses using liquid chromatography and gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry were carried out at three larval stages and on adult damselflies. Additionally, a subset of larvae was exposed to wastewater effluent to assess how metabolite profiles responded to an environmental stressor. A total of 212 compounds belonging to several classes (e.g. amino acids, fatty acids, sugars) were annotated. Across metamorphosis, we found that damselflies shifted from protein catabolism to lipid catabolism. Wastewater effluent exposure resulted in ontogenetic stage-dependent changes of individual metabolites, but not to a marked extent. Overall, our study is one of the first to describe changes of metabolite profiles during ontogeny of an insect, and it provides a first step towards a greater understanding of the physiological changes occurring during general insect-but especially damselfly-ontogeny.

Keywords

Semi-aquatic invertebrate; Odonata; Complex life cycle; Mass spectrometry; Chromatography; Wastewater treatment plant effluent

Published in

Journal of Insect Physiology

2022, volume: 136, article number: 104341
Publisher: PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD

Authors' information

Spath, Jana
Umeå University
Umeå University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
McCallum, Erin (Mc Callum, Erin)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
University of South Bohemia Ceske Budejovice
Fick, Jerker
Umeå University
Nording, Malin L.
Umeå University

UKÄ Subject classification

Zoology

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jinsphys.2021.104341

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/117103