Hemolymph amino acid analysis of individual Drosophila larvae

Anal Chem. 2008 Feb 15;80(4):1201-7. doi: 10.1021/ac701785z. Epub 2008 Jan 15.


One of the most widely used transgenic animal models in biology is Drosophila melanogaster, the fruit fly. Chemical information from this exceedingly small organism is usually accomplished by studying populations to attain sample volumes suitable for standard analysis methods. This paper describes a direct sampling technique capable of obtaining 50-300 nL of hemolymph from individual Drosophila larvae. Hemolymph sampling performed under mineral oil and in air at 30 s intervals up to 120 s after piercing larvae revealed that the effect of evaporation on amino acid concentrations is insignificant when the sample was collected within 60 s. Qualitative and quantitative amino acid analyses of obtained hemolymph were carried out in two optimized buffer conditions by capillary electrophoresis with laser-induced fluorescence detection after derivatizing with fluorescamine. Thirteen amino acids were identified from individual hemolymph samples of both wild-type (WT) control and the genderblind (gb) mutant larvae. The levels of glutamine, glutamate, and taurine in the gb hemolymph were significantly lower at 35%, 38%, and 57% of WT levels, respectively. The developed technique that samples only the hemolymph fluid is efficient and enables accurate organism-level chemical information while minimizing errors associated with possible sample contaminations, estimations, and effects of evaporation compared to the traditional hemolymph-sampling techniques.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / analysis*
  • Amino Acids / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Drosophila / chemistry
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila / metabolism*
  • Drosophila Proteins / chemistry
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • Electrophoresis, Capillary
  • Hemolymph / metabolism*
  • Larva / chemistry
  • Larva / genetics
  • Larva / metabolism*
  • Time Factors


  • Amino Acids
  • Drosophila Proteins