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PhD Proposal Seminar – Jerrica Jamison (Welch Lab)

June 2, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 10:30 am

A Comparative Investigation of Fructose Metabolism in Flying Nectivorous Vertebrates



Fructose is a sugar found in many foods but poorly metabolized by most vertebrates. Over consumption of fructose has been linked to a number of diseases including diabetes and chronic kidney disease. However, up to half of the diet hummingbirds and nectar bats consume is made of fructose, but they do not show signs of metabolic disease. In hummingbirds, unique adaptations regarding fructose transport and metabolism have already been uncovered, but fructose metabolism in nectar bats is still poorly understood. I plan to use a combination of stable isotope respirometry and blood metabolite analyses to uncover metabolic adaptations regarding fructose use in nectar bats. As there are a number of independent lineages of nectivorous bats, I will compare adaptations between these bat lineages to look for signs of convergent evolution. Additionally,  I will examine seasonal variation in fructose metabolism in a bat that opportunistically feeds on nectar during part of the year, exploring plasticity in animals’ ability to metabolize fructose. I will also continue previous work on hummingbird fructose metabolism during exercise and expand the knowledge of fructose as fuel for exercise to nectar bats. Finally, I will look at potential glycation stress in hummingbirds and nectar bats due to fructose consumption using mass spectrometry. This work is the first to look at fructose metabolism in nectar bats, and will give insight into how they can ingest so much of this disease causing sugar without suffering the consequences other animals do.


Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021 at 10:00am

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Meeting ID: 830 3366 5879

Host: Kenneth Welch (kwelch@utsc.utoronto.ca)



June 2, 2021
10:00 am - 10:30 am
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