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Observations of the "egg white injury" in ants.

Poissonnier LA, Simpson SJ, Dussutour A - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: Eating excess protein relative to carbohydrate shortens lifespan in solitary and social insects.Here we explored how lifespan and behavior in ants was affected by the quality of protein ingested and the presence of associated antinutrients (i.e. compounds that interfere with the absorption of nutrients).In conclusion, anti-nutrients were known to affect health and performance of animals, but this is the first study showing that anti-nutrients also lead to severe changes in behavior.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Research Center on Animal Cognition, The National Center for Scientific Research and Toulouse University, Toulouse, France.

ABSTRACT
A key determinant of the relationship between diet and longevity is the balance of protein to carbohydrate in the diet. Eating excess protein relative to carbohydrate shortens lifespan in solitary and social insects. Here we explored how lifespan and behavior in ants was affected by the quality of protein ingested and the presence of associated antinutrients (i.e. compounds that interfere with the absorption of nutrients). We tested diets prepared with either egg white protein only or a protein mixture. Egg white contains an anti-nutrient called avidin. Avidin binds to the B vitamin biotin, preventing its absorption. First, we demonstrate that an egg-white diet was twice as deleterious as a protein-mixture diet. Second, we show that ingestion of egg-white diet drastically affected social behavior, triggering elevated levels of aggression within the colony. Lastly, we reveal that by adding biotin to the egg white diet we were able to lessen its detrimental effects. This latest result suggests that ants suffered biotin deficiency when fed the egg white diet. In conclusion, anti-nutrients were known to affect health and performance of animals, but this is the first study showing that anti-nutrients also lead to severe changes in behavior.

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A. Meal duration (in seconds) according to the diet. B. Relative number of meals per ant (total number of meals divided by colony size). N = 4 experimental colonies of 200 individuals per treatment. Colony sizes were adjusted to account for ant mortality.
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pone-0112801-g004: A. Meal duration (in seconds) according to the diet. B. Relative number of meals per ant (total number of meals divided by colony size). N = 4 experimental colonies of 200 individuals per treatment. Colony sizes were adjusted to account for ant mortality.

Mentions: For both high protein diets, the difference observed in proportion of ant feeding was due to a difference in meal duration (Figure 4A) and not to a difference in the absolute number of meals (Figure 4B), while it was the opposite for the high carbohydrate diet. The relative number of meals was higher on the first day especially on the high carbohydrate diet (1∶5 MIX) reflecting food deprivation experienced the day before (Figure 4B, diet effect F2,9 = 0.09 P = 0.919, day effect F4,36 = 94.67 P<0.001, Interaction diet x day F8,36 = 13.63 P<0.001). Meal duration increased across days only for the high protein diets (5∶1 MIX and 5∶1 EGG, diet effect Wald = 157.73 P<0.001, day effect Wald = 52.35 P<0.001, Interaction diet x day Wald = 332.46.14 P<0.001, Figure 4A, Figure S1 in File S1), by contrast it remained constant for the high carbohydrate diet (1∶5 MIX).


Observations of the "egg white injury" in ants.

Poissonnier LA, Simpson SJ, Dussutour A - PLoS ONE (2014)

A. Meal duration (in seconds) according to the diet. B. Relative number of meals per ant (total number of meals divided by colony size). N = 4 experimental colonies of 200 individuals per treatment. Colony sizes were adjusted to account for ant mortality.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4231089&req=5

pone-0112801-g004: A. Meal duration (in seconds) according to the diet. B. Relative number of meals per ant (total number of meals divided by colony size). N = 4 experimental colonies of 200 individuals per treatment. Colony sizes were adjusted to account for ant mortality.
Mentions: For both high protein diets, the difference observed in proportion of ant feeding was due to a difference in meal duration (Figure 4A) and not to a difference in the absolute number of meals (Figure 4B), while it was the opposite for the high carbohydrate diet. The relative number of meals was higher on the first day especially on the high carbohydrate diet (1∶5 MIX) reflecting food deprivation experienced the day before (Figure 4B, diet effect F2,9 = 0.09 P = 0.919, day effect F4,36 = 94.67 P<0.001, Interaction diet x day F8,36 = 13.63 P<0.001). Meal duration increased across days only for the high protein diets (5∶1 MIX and 5∶1 EGG, diet effect Wald = 157.73 P<0.001, day effect Wald = 52.35 P<0.001, Interaction diet x day Wald = 332.46.14 P<0.001, Figure 4A, Figure S1 in File S1), by contrast it remained constant for the high carbohydrate diet (1∶5 MIX).

Bottom Line: Eating excess protein relative to carbohydrate shortens lifespan in solitary and social insects.Here we explored how lifespan and behavior in ants was affected by the quality of protein ingested and the presence of associated antinutrients (i.e. compounds that interfere with the absorption of nutrients).In conclusion, anti-nutrients were known to affect health and performance of animals, but this is the first study showing that anti-nutrients also lead to severe changes in behavior.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Research Center on Animal Cognition, The National Center for Scientific Research and Toulouse University, Toulouse, France.

ABSTRACT
A key determinant of the relationship between diet and longevity is the balance of protein to carbohydrate in the diet. Eating excess protein relative to carbohydrate shortens lifespan in solitary and social insects. Here we explored how lifespan and behavior in ants was affected by the quality of protein ingested and the presence of associated antinutrients (i.e. compounds that interfere with the absorption of nutrients). We tested diets prepared with either egg white protein only or a protein mixture. Egg white contains an anti-nutrient called avidin. Avidin binds to the B vitamin biotin, preventing its absorption. First, we demonstrate that an egg-white diet was twice as deleterious as a protein-mixture diet. Second, we show that ingestion of egg-white diet drastically affected social behavior, triggering elevated levels of aggression within the colony. Lastly, we reveal that by adding biotin to the egg white diet we were able to lessen its detrimental effects. This latest result suggests that ants suffered biotin deficiency when fed the egg white diet. In conclusion, anti-nutrients were known to affect health and performance of animals, but this is the first study showing that anti-nutrients also lead to severe changes in behavior.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus