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MEDI: Macronutrient Extraction and Determination from Invertebrates, a rapid, cheap and streamlined protocol

Cuff, Jordan P., Wilder, Shawn M., Tercel, Maximillian P. T. G., Hunt, Rhiannon, Oluwaseun, Somoye, Morley, Paige S., Badell-Grau, Rafael A., Vaughan, Ian P ORCID:, Bell, James R., Orozco-terWengel, Pablo ORCID:, Symondson, William O. C. ORCID: and Muller, Carsten T. ORCID: 2021. MEDI: Macronutrient Extraction and Determination from Invertebrates, a rapid, cheap and streamlined protocol. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 12 (4) , pp. 593-601. 10.1111/2041-210X.13551

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Macronutrients, comprising carbohydrates, proteins and lipids, underpin many ecological processes, but their quantification in ecological studies is often inaccurate and laborious, requiring large investments of time and bulk samples, which make individual‐level studies impossible. This study presents Macronutrient Extraction and Determination from Invertebrates (MEDI), a protocol for the direct, rapid and relatively low‐cost determination of macronutrient content from single small macroinvertebrates. Macronutrients were extracted by a sequential process of soaking in 1:12 chloroform:methanol solution to remove lipid and then solubilising tissue in 0.1 M NaOH. Proteins, carbohydrates and lipids were determined by colorimetric assays from the same individual specimens. The limits of detection of MEDI with the equipment and conditions used were 0.067, 0.065 and 0.006 mg/ml for proteins, carbohydrates and lipids respectively. Adjusting the volume of reagents used for extraction and determination can broaden the range of concentrations that can be detected. MEDI successfully identified taxonomic differences in macronutrient content between five insect species. Macronutrient Extraction and Determination from Invertebrates can directly and rapidly determine macronutrient content in tiny (dry mass ~3 mg) and much larger individual invertebrates. Using MEDI, the total macronutrient content of over 50 macroinvertebrates can be determined within around 3 days of collection at a cost of ~$1.35 per sample.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 2041-210X
Funders: BBSRC, NERC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 January 2021
Date of Acceptance: 4 December 2020
Last Modified: 21 May 2023 20:59

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