Insectile Neurochemistry: Developing a novel HPLC-based method to assess neurotransmitters in the grasshopper brain
Grasshoppers (Order Orthoptera) are critical members of grassland ecosystems; as herbivores they serve an important role in many ecosystem services. They can also cause very costly destruction of crops and are seen as pests in agriculture. Therefore, understanding grasshopper behavior is critical to fully understand their impact on the environment. Many chemical pesticides and fertilizers used in agriculture affect the balance of micronutrients such as sodium (Na) and calcium (Ca). Similar micronutrient shifts have recently been correlated to an alteration in grasshopper activity. It is currently hypothesized that changes in neurotransmitter systems in the grasshopper CNS underly this response. Therefore, understanding the neurochemical mechanisms underlying these observed behavioral changes is necessary to fully understand the impact of chemicals used in agriculture. However, only a few studies have assessed neurotransmitters have not been quantitatively assessed in insects. Thus, the purpose of this project was to develop a novel HPLC-based method to assess neurotransmitters in the grasshopper brain. This method will be used in collaborative projects by the Prather and the Pitychoutis labs here at the UD to conduct studies exploring grasshopper neurotransmission dynamics following micronutrient shifts in the ecosystem.
Pothitos Pitychoutis, Chelse M Prather
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium poster
"Insectile Neurochemistry: Developing a novel HPLC-based method to assess neurotransmitters in the grasshopper brain" (2019). Stander Symposium Posters. 1746.