Rapid enzyme kinetic assays of individual Drosophila and comparisons of field-caught D. melanogaster and D. simulans

Biochem Genet. 1989 Jun;27(5-6):263-77. doi: 10.1007/BF00554162.


Techniques for performing numerous enzyme kinetic assays with minimum time and effort would be valuable to studies of the evolutionary genetics of metabolic control and the quantitative genetics of determinants of kinetic parameters. Microtiter plate readers have been used for a variety of repetitious analytical techniques, and instruments are available that can take repetitive readings with sufficient speed to perform kinetic assays. The ability of these instruments to assay rapidly the kinetic properties of small samples makes them potentially useful for a number of problems in population genetics. While the ability to handle large numbers of samples is very attractive, the small sample volumes and optical imprecision of microtiter plates result in some sacrifice in accuracy. This paper presents methods for performing kinetic assays on individual field-caught Drosophila, quantifies the precision of these methods, and characterizes differences among Drosophila melanogaster and D. simulans from samples caught in California and Pennsylvania. Comparisons between field-caught and laboratory reared D. melanogaster show that most of the characters are very similar, with the exception of alpha GPDH, which has a threefold higher mean activity among field-caught flies. The phenotypic correlations are presented with a brief discussion of their relevance to assessing the evolution of metabolic control of these enzymes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Laboratory
  • Drosophila / enzymology*
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / enzymology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Kinetics
  • Methods
  • Phenotype
  • Reproducibility of Results