This chapter focuses on taxonomic and biochemical sclerotization in Dipterans. With respect to the biochemistry of hardening and bond stabilization, it discusses only those reactions contributing to crosslinking and the decline in chemical reactivity. In focusing on the Diptera, clear phylogenetic limits are imposed with ample provision for ecological diversity and developmental patterns. Of the 105species within the chosen taxonomic group, no more than a dozen examples are taken as representative of the order. Regardless of the life stage or body region, the changes accompanying crosslinking are easily detected at a superficial level. Although a precise ordering of events has not been realized, the products clearly differ from the reactants in physical and chemical characteristics. Chemical mechanisms of crosslinking can be examined by tissue analysis or by reconstruction of presumptive pathways in cell-free systems. The chapter addresses several facts more or less common to Dipteran systems, such as activation of phenolases, oxygen dependency, detritiation of ring-tritiated ethanocatechols, and detritiation of side chain-tritiated ethanocatechols. © 1983, Academic Press Inc. (London) Ltd.
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