A reappraisal of sterol biosynthesis and metabolism in aphids

Bruce C. Campbell, W. David Nes

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41 Scopus citations


Aphids of Schizaphis graminum (Rondani) (biotype C) reared on its host-plant, Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench, sequestered campesterol, stigmasterol and sitosterol. Aphids reared for 72 hr on holidic diets supplemented with [4-14C]-sitosterol contained both [14C]-sitosterol and [14C]-cholesterol, indicating that these aphids are capable of dealkylation at C-24. When aphids were reared on artificial diets containing [2-14C]-mevalonic acid, no detectable amounts of radioactively labelled desmethyl sterols, nor metabolic intermediates in sterol synthesis (i.e. squalene, 2,3-oxidosqualene, 4,4-dimethyl and 4-monomethyl sterols) were found to accumulate in their tissues. The relevance of these findings to previous research suggesting the ability of aphids, via their symbiotes, to synthesize sterols is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-156
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Insect Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1983


  • Aphids
  • Schizaphis graminum
  • cholesterol
  • greenbug
  • sitosterol
  • sorghum
  • sterol metabolism


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