The importance of fat accumulation and reserves for insect overwintering

Current Opinion in Insect Science, Forthcoming

22 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2023 Last revised: 3 Oct 2023

See all articles by Thomas Enriquez

Thomas Enriquez

Gembloux Agro Bio Tech - Université de Liège

Bertanne Visser

University of Liège - Evolution and Ecophysiology group

Date Written: May 30, 2023

Abstract

Winter is a challenging season for ectothermic species such as insects. In addition to thermal stress imposed by cold temperatures, food scarcity during winter can lead to starvation and energy drain. In preparation for winter, most insects accumulate lipid (fat) reserves, which are the principal source of energetic fuel during overwintering. In this review, we highlight the most recent literature on lipid metabolism in response to cold. We first discuss how lipid metabolism is affected by biotic and abiotic environmental changes in preparation for winter. We then highlight how lipid dynamics are affected during winter, including physiological and (epi)genetic mechanisms. We end our review emphasizing the importance of remaining fat reserves in spring and how climate change can negatively impact lipid metabolism and fitness.

Keywords: Dormancy; Diapause; Fatty acids; Triacylglycerols; Global warming

Suggested Citation

Enriquez, Thomas and Visser, Bertanne, The importance of fat accumulation and reserves for insect overwintering (May 30, 2023). Current Opinion in Insect Science, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4389731 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4389731

Thomas Enriquez (Contact Author)

Gembloux Agro Bio Tech - Université de Liège ( email )

Bertanne Visser

University of Liège - Evolution and Ecophysiology group ( email )

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