Publication details

Určení věku štěnice domácí (Cimex lectularius) prostřednictvím pteridinů: metodická úskalí

Title in English Determination of the age of bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) through pteridines: methodical pitfalls


Year of publication 2018
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description The work of the last few decades shows that in various insect species the age of an individual can be determined by the concentration of pteridines (fluorescent pigments) in the head and/or eye. In bedbugs (C. lectularius), the age of females and the changing ability to preserve viable sperm appear to be an important parameter in studying ecological speciation and reproductive isolation of two host lines parasitizing humans and bats. So far, no study of the age of bedbugs has been carried out and there are a number of methodological discrepancies in the actual age determination. With regard to the necessary sensitivity of detection, the method of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was chosen. The first difficulty was selecting appropriate pteridines. The authors of similar studies usually choose them according to available standards and less already according to the amount of individual pteridines, which differ between taxa. Furthermore, it was necessary to choose the most suitable type of extraction medium, since its pH greatly affects the quality of the extraction. Given that the aim of this work is to determine the age of an individual, it was necessary to verify that there is a sufficient amount of pteridines in the single head of the bug for analysis. Pteridines are referred to by some authors as eye pigments, but the preparation of the eye of a bug has proven to be time consuming and much easier and more efficient to use the entire head. It was therefore necessary to determine whether the pteridines were found in the whole head or only in the eye. The last drawback was that all literature reports that the pteridines are light sensitive, so extraction has to be done under very limited light conditions. Previous results show that 6-biopterin, isoxanthopterin and leucopterin are useful pteridines for identifying the age of bed bugs. At the same time, these pteridines are found primarily in the eyes. There was no significant difference between light and dark preparation in either of the five of tested pteridines. Thus, unlike most published procedures, extraction can be performed under light, which greatly facilitates sample preparation while reducing error rates.
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