Author(s): Merzendorfer H, Zimoch L
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Abstract Chitin is one of the most important biopolymers in nature. It is mainly produced by fungi, arthropods and nematodes. In insects, it functions as scaffold material, supporting the cuticles of the epidermis and trachea as well as the peritrophic matrices lining the gut epithelium. Insect growth and morphogenesis are strictly dependent on the capability to remodel chitin-containing structures. For this purpose, insects repeatedly produce chitin synthases and chitinolytic enzymes in different tissues. Coordination of chitin synthesis and its degradation requires strict control of the participating enzymes during development. In this review, we will summarize recent advances in understanding chitin synthesis and its degradation in insects.
This article was published in J Exp Biol
and referenced in Journal of Aquaculture Research & Development