Presence of a single abundant storage hexamerin in both larvae and adults of the grasshopper, Schistocerca americana

Daniel A. Hahn, Diana E. Wheeler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


We identified a single hexameric storage protein in the grasshopper, Schistocerca americana, and monitored its abundance through the last larval instar and up until reproductive competence in adults of both sexes. This storage hexamerin, termed Schistocerca americana Persistent Storage Protein (saPSP) was the most abundant soluble protein in both larvae and adults. In both sexes, saPSP abundance started out low at the onset of the last larval instar and accumulated during feeding, peaking just prior to molting. Adults of both sexes contained significant amounts of saPSP after eclosion. In adult males, saPSP content dropped continuously after eclosion and was lowest once individuals reached reproductive maturity. In contrast, adult females depleted saPSP reserves during the first days of adulthood, but subsequently accumulated significant saPSP stores. In adult females, saPSP stores peaked just prior to the completion of egg provisioning. Given the overall patterns of abundance, saPSP has functions in both larvae and adults. In addition, the observed pattern of storage hexamerin accumulation differs from patterns of accumulation in the other known grasshoppers, Locusta migratoria and Romalea microptera, suggesting that significant functional diversity has evolved in storage hexamerins among the grasshoppers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1189-1197
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Insect Physiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • Adult storage protein
  • Development
  • Larval storage protein
  • Reproduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Insect Science


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