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Metabolomics of aging assessed in individual parasitoid wasps

Kapranas, Apostolos; Snart, Charles J.P.; Williams, Huw Edward Llewelyn; Hardy, Ian C.W.; Barrett, David A.

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Apostolos Kapranas

Charles J.P. Snart

Senior Research Fellow

Ian C.W. Hardy

David A. Barrett


Metabolomics studies of low-biomass organisms, such as small insects, have previously relied on the pooling of biological samples to overcome detection limits, particularly using NMR. We show that the differentiation of metabolite profiles of individual 1 mg parasitoid wasps of different ages is possible when using a modified sample preparation and a combination of untargeted NMR and LC-MS based metabolomics. Changes were observed between newly emerged and older wasps in glycerolipids, amino acids and circulatory sugars. This advance in chemical profiling has important implications for the study of the behaviour and ecology of parasitoids and many other species of small organisms because predictions and observations are typically made at the level of the individual. Thus, the metabolomic state of low-biomass individuals can now be related to their behaviour and ecological performance. We discuss specifically the utility of age-related metabolomic profiling but our new approach can be applied to a wide range of biological research.


Kapranas, A., Snart, C. J., Williams, H. E. L., Hardy, I. C., & Barrett, D. A. (2016). Metabolomics of aging assessed in individual parasitoid wasps. Scientific Reports, 6(1), Article 34848.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 2, 2016
Online Publication Date Oct 7, 2016
Publication Date 2016-12
Deposit Date Oct 19, 2016
Publicly Available Date Oct 19, 2016
Journal Scientific Reports
Electronic ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 6
Issue 1
Article Number 34848
Keywords Ageing; behavioural ecology; chemical ecology; lipidomics; metabolomics
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Oct 19, 2016


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