The Synthesis and Function of the Peritrophic Matrix in Drosophila Melanogaster
Conway, Sean. Marquette University, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2018. 10793851.
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Maintenance of functional barrier structures separating an organism from and regulating its interaction with the environment is critical for many aspects of fitness. Arguably, the most dynamic interface between an animal and its environment is the gut, as the organism must balance the primary functions, digestion and nutrient acquisition, with several homeostatic and defensive systems including pathogen defense, microbiome maintenance and stem cell renewal. Many animals secrete extracellular barrier structures along their guts to organize and modulate these interactions, including intestinal mucosal secretions in humans and a semi-permeable structure in insects called the peritrophic matrix (PM). In Drosophila, the PM is theorized to play an integral role in numerous gut processes, but to date, all studies are limited as there are no published lines of insects that completely lack a PM.