Short Communication

Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 379, Issue 3, pp 540-543

First online:

Rapid quantification of juvenile hormones and their metabolites in insect haemolymph by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS)

  • Stephanie A. WesterlundAffiliated withDepartment of Animal Ecology I, University of Bayreuth Email author 
  • , Klaus H. HoffmannAffiliated withDepartment of Animal Ecology I, University of Bayreuth

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A simple, fast and sensitive method was developed for routine determination of juvenile hormone (JH), JH diols and JH acids in insect haemolymph, by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Sample clean-up involves the precipitation of proteins by methanol/isooctane (1:1, v/v), centrifugation and partial evaporation of the organic solvents. Since JH is bound to a carrier protein in the haemolymph, a binding protein (BP) assay was performed to ensure JH is removed during precipitation. The JH compounds were separated on a C18 column (ReproSil-Pur ODS-3) by gradient elution with water and methanol in less than 22 min and analysed by electrospray mass spectrometry. Due to the high abundance of Na+ in insect haemolymph, [M+Na]+ is primarily formed. The limit of detection and quantification was 6 and 20 pg for JHs, and 8 and 25 pg for JH diols, respectively. To demonstrate the applicability of the method to different insect orders, haemolymph samples from the Mediterranean field cricket (Gryllus bimaculatus), the fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda), the pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum) and an ant species (Myrmicaria eumenoides) were analysed.


LC-MS Juvenile hormone titer Acyrthosiphon pisum Gryllus bimaculatus Spodoptera frugiperda Myrmicaria eumenoides