New paper on tsetse flies now out!
Check out our new paper on tsetse flies entitled "Warm Blood Meal Increases Digestion Rate and Milk Protein Production to Maximize Reproductive Output for the Tsetse Fly, Glossina morsitans". This study led by Josh Benoit was published in Insects.
Abstract: The ingestion of blood represents a significant burden that immediately increases water, oxidative, and thermal stress, but provides a significant nutrient source to generate resources necessary for the development of progeny. Thermal stress has been assumed to solely be a negative byproduct that has to be alleviated to prevent stress. Here, we examined if the short thermal bouts incurred during a warm blood meal are beneficial to reproduction. To do so, we examined the duration of pregnancy and milk gland protein expression in the tsetse fly, Glossina morsitans, that consumed a warm or cool blood meal. We noted that an optimal temperature for blood ingestion yielded a reduction in the duration of pregnancy. This decline in the duration of pregnancy is due to increased rate of blood digestion when consuming warm blood. This increased digestion likely provided more energy that leads to increased expression of transcript for milk-associated proteins. The shorter duration of pregnancy is predicted to yield an increase in population growth compared to those that consume cool or above host temperatures. These studies provide evidence that consumption of a warm blood meal is likely beneficial for specific aspects of vector biology.