New research from Western University has found potato beetles can break down and regrow muscles on demand, allowing them to preserve energy over the winter, as Jeff Renaud of the University of Western Ontario reports in this article published by Phys.Org.
In a study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of insect physiologists from Western University in Canada showed that hibernating Colorado potato beetles break down mitochondria in their own flight muscle in preparation for the harsh winter climate. These beetles spontaneously regrow their mitochondria on demand and prepare their muscles for flight in the spring.
“This ability to simply regrow an entire muscle‘s worth of mitochondria is completely novel, and explains how beetles are able to save energy all winter, yet be ready fly and mate immediately in the spring,” said Jackie Lebenzon, one of the researchers involved in the study.
Source: Phys.Org. Read the full article here
Photo: Courtesy Phys.Org. Credit Brent Sinclair, professor at Western Science who led the study.