PHOTOSYNTHESIS-LIKE PROCESS FOUND IN INSECTS

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PHOTOSYNTHESIS-LIKE PROCESS FOUND IN

INSECTS

The biology of aphids is bizarre. They can be born pregnant and males sometimes lack mouths, causing them to die not long after mating.

In an addition to their list of anomalies, the researchers indicates that they may also capture sunlight and use the energy fcr metabolic purposes. Aphids are unique among animals in their ability to synthesize pigments called carotenoids. Many creatures rely on these pigments for a variety of functions, such as maintaining a healthy immune system and making certain vitamins, but all other animals must obtain them through their diet. Interesting in aphids, these pigments can absorb energy from the Sun and transfer it to the cellular machinery involved in energy production- Although unprecedented in animals, this capability is common in other kingdoms. Plants and algae, as well as certain fungi and bacteria, also synthesize carotenoids, and in all of these organisms the pigments form part of the photosynthetic machinery.

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