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The biomechanics and energetics of xylem feeding in the meadow spittlebug (Philaenus spumarius) Bergman, Elisabeth Anne 2021

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THE BIOMECHANICS AND ENERGETICS OF XYLEM FEEDING IN THE MEADOW SPITTLEBUG (PHILAENUS SPUMARIUS) by  Elisabeth Anne Bergman  B.Sc. (Hons.), The University of Arizona, 2017  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF SCIENCE in The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (Zoology)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  January 2021  © Elisabeth Anne Bergman, 2021   ii  The following individuals certify that they have read, and recommend to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for acceptance, a thesis entitled:  The biomechanics and energetics of xylem feeding in the meadow spittlebug (Philaenus spumarius)  submitted by Elisabeth Anne Bergman in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Zoology  Examining Committee: Philip G.D. Matthews, Associate Professor, Department of Zoology, UBC Supervisor Robert E. Shadwick, Full Professor, Department of Zoology, UBC Supervisory Committee Member Katie E. Marshall, Assistant Professor, Department of Zoology, UBC Additional Examiner  Additional Supervisory Committee Members: Colin J. Brauner, Full Professor, Department of Zoology, UBC Supervisory Committee Member Sean T. Michaletz, Assistant Professor, Department of Botany, UBC Supervisory Committee Member iii  Abstract  The watery sap within the xylem vessels of vascular plants is thought to exist under high tensions (i.e., negative pressures) that routinely exceed -1 MPa, as well as being very nutrient poor. While this should make xylem sap an energetically unfavourable source of nutrition, some Hemipteran insects within the suborder Auchenorrhyncha feed on it exclusively, extracting copious quantities of this liquid using a muscular cibarial pump. However, neither the strength of the insect’s suction, and thus the maximum xylem tensions that the insect can feed at, nor the energetic cost of xylem feeding, have been determined. Here I used adult meadow spittlebugs (Philaenus spumarius) to address this gap in knowledge. First, the maximum suction they could generate was calculated from biomechanical principles using morphological data obtained from micro-CT scans of their cibarial pump. Second, the metabolic rates (MR) of adult P. spumarius were measured while feeding on hydroponically-grown plants (Vicia faba, Pisum sativum, and Medicago sativa) with known xylem tensions, while their rate of xylem sap extraction and cibarial pumping frequency (fpump) were obtained from simultaneously recorded video footage. Furthermore, during these feeding experiments, the plants were exposed to the osmolyte polyethylene glycol (PEG), revealing how the insects changed their feeding behaviour in response to increasing xylem tensions. These findings indicate that the cibarial pump is capable of generating an average maximum tension of -1.3 MPa. This is higher than any xylem tension recorded from their food plants using the Scholander-Hammel pressure bomb method. In addition, while it was calculated that the xylem sap likely contains sufficient sugars to sustain the energetic requirements of pumping, the total MR of the feeding insect could be satisfied only by assuming contributions from amino acids.  iv  Lay Summary  Xylem-feeding insects like the meadow spittlebug (Philaenus spumarius) are important agricultural pests. As vectors of Xyllela fastidiosa, these insects are responsible for spreading the various plant diseases that arise from this bacterium. While previous research on P. spumarius has focused on their roles as vectors, there has been less focus on how they extract xylem sap in the first place with plant xylem fluid being under considerable tension. This thesis aimed to determine the range of tensions P. spumarius can successfully feed on, quantify the metabolic cost of feeding on xylem sap, and determine how the adults of this species, called froghoppers, change their feeding behaviour in response to increases in xylem tension. The results provide insight into the feeding mechanics and physiology of P. spumarius, and demonstrate a novel approach of using an insect to measure xylem tensions in situ.  v  Preface  This thesis is the original, unpublished work by the author, Elisabeth A. Bergman, with editorial feedback from Drs. Philip G.D. Matthews, Colin J. Brauner, Sean T. Michaletz, and Robert E. Shadwick. Elisabeth A. Bergman was responsible for the collection and analysis of all experimental data. Dr. Matthews was the supervisory author and was involved in the conception of all experiments. Micro-CT scans were performed at McGill University. Embedded mouthpart sectioning was performed by Wax-It and TEM was performed at the Bioimaging Facility, both at UBC (Vancouver). vi  Table of Contents  Abstract ......................................................................................................................................... iii Lay Summary ................................................................................................................................ iv Preface ............................................................................................................................................ v Table of Contents .......................................................................................................................... vi List of Tables .................................................................................................................................. x List of Figures ............................................................................................................................... xi List of Symbols and Abbreviations ............................................................................................ xii Acknowledgements ..................................................................................................................... xiv Dedication .................................................................................................................................... xvi Chapter 1: Introduction ................................................................................................................ 1 1.1 Overview ......................................................................................................................... 1 1.2 Xylem tension of plants ................................................................................................... 2 1.3 Anatomy of xylem-feeding insects .................................................................................. 5 1.4 Anatomical and physiological dilemmas ......................................................................... 7 1.5 Research questions .......................................................................................................... 8 Chapter 2: Comparing the xylem tensions obtained phytologically, physiologically, and morphologically ........................................................................................................................... 10 2.1 Introduction ................................................................................................................... 10 2.2 Materials and Methods .................................................................................................. 11 2.2.1 Animals ...................................................................................................................... 11 2.2.1.1 Spittlebug nymphs and froghopper adults ......................................................... 11 vii  2.2.1.2 Body mass ......................................................................................................... 12 2.2.2 Plants ......................................................................................................................... 12 2.2.3 Transmission electron microscopy ............................................................................ 14 2.2.3.1 Preparation ......................................................................................................... 14 2.2.3.2 Sectioning and imaging ..................................................................................... 14 2.2.3.3 Analysis ............................................................................................................. 14 2.2.4 Micro-CT scans ......................................................................................................... 15 2.2.4.1 Preparation ......................................................................................................... 15 2.2.4.2 Scanning ............................................................................................................ 15 2.2.4.3 Reconstruction and segmentation ...................................................................... 16 2.2.4.4 Analysis ............................................................................................................. 18 2.2.5 Respirometry trials .................................................................................................... 19 2.2.5.1 Measuring resting metabolic rate (RMR) .......................................................... 19 2.2.5.2 Measuring feeding metabolic rate ..................................................................... 20 2.2.5.3 Calculating metabolic power from respirometry traces .................................... 22 2.2.5.4 Recording temperature ...................................................................................... 22 2.2.5.5 Recording videos ............................................................................................... 23 2.2.5.6 Manipulations of xylem tension with PEG 6000 .............................................. 23 2.2.5.7 Measuring xylem tension .................................................................................. 25 2.2.6 Measuring feeding parameters .................................................................................. 26 2.2.6.1 Pumping frequency (fpump) ................................................................................. 26 2.2.6.2 Droplet size and excretion rate (Q) ................................................................... 26 2.2.7 Embedded mouthpart sectioning ............................................................................... 27 viii  2.2.8 Statistical analyses ..................................................................................................... 27 2.3 Results ........................................................................................................................... 28 2.3.1 Verification of xylem feeding ................................................................................... 28 2.3.2 Resting metabolic rate (RMR) ................................................................................... 28 2.3.3 The effect of changes in xylem tension on: ............................................................... 28 2.3.3.1 Pumping frequency (fpump) ................................................................................. 28 2.3.3.2 Xylem excretion rate (Q) ................................................................................... 29 2.3.3.3 Cibarial metabolic rate (MRcib) ......................................................................... 29 2.3.3.4 Ratio of excretion rate to pumping frequency (Q / fpump) ................................... 30 2.3.3.5 Ratio of cibarial metabolic rate to excretion rate (MRcib / Q) ........................... 30 2.3.4 Morphological measurements ................................................................................... 30 2.4 Discussion ...................................................................................................................... 30 2.4.1 Muscle morphology ................................................................................................... 31 2.4.2 Cibarium morphology and maximum tension ........................................................... 32 2.4.3 Physiological responses to changes in xylem tension ............................................... 34 2.4.4 Metabolic cost of xylem extraction and feeding ....................................................... 36 2.4.5 Biological pressure probe vs. pressure bomb ............................................................ 38 2.4.6 Implications for other xylem feeders ......................................................................... 39 Chapter 3: Conclusions ............................................................................................................... 66 3.1 General conclusions ....................................................................................................... 66 3.2 Biomechanics ................................................................................................................ 66 3.3 Energetics ...................................................................................................................... 69 3.4 Significance and implications ........................................................................................ 72 ix  3.5 Limitations and future directions ................................................................................... 73 Bibliography ................................................................................................................................. 74 x  List of Tables Table 2.1 Mean xylem tensions of non-PEG-manipulated plants ................................................. 41 Table 2.2 Resting metabolic rate (RMR) of individual froghoppers used in experiments ............ 42 Table 2.3 Individual and mean pumping frequency (fpump) of PEG-manipulated trials ................ 43 Table 2.4 Individual and mean excretion rate (Q) of PEG-manipulated trials .............................. 44 Table 2.5 Individual and mean cibarial metabolic rate (MRcib) of PEG-manipulated trials ......... 45 Table 2.6 Results of linear mixed-effects models to identify which parameters differed significantly with increases in xylem tension ................................................................................ 46 Table 2.7 Data acquired from TEM .............................................................................................. 47 Table 2.8 Data acquired from micro-CT scans and reconstructions ............................................. 48    xi  List of Figures Figure 2.1. Conductive tissue of vascular plants ........................................................................... 49 Figure 2.2. Schematic of Scholander-Hammel pressure bomb ..................................................... 50 Figure 2.3. Cibarial anatomy in 3D reconstructions of adult Philaenus spumarius ...................... 51 Figure 2.4. Cross-sectional areas of cibarial anatomy ................................................................... 53 Figure 2.5. Direction of air flow in respirometry set-up ............................................................... 54 Figure 2.6. Schematic of the respirometry chamber ...................................................................... 55 Figure 2.7. Section of pea stem with froghopper stylets inserted into xylem ............................... 56 Figure 2.8. Effect of xylem tension on pumping frequency (fpump) ............................................... 57 Figure 2.9. Effect of xylem tension on excretion rate (Q) ............................................................. 58 Figure 2.10. Effect of xylem tension on cibarial metabolic rate (MRcib) ...................................... 59 Figure 2.11. Effect of xylem tension on the ratio of excretion rate (Q) to pumping frequency (fpump) ............................................................................................................................................. 60 Figure 2.12. Effect of xylem tension on the ratio of cibarial metabolic rate (MRcib) to excretion rate (Q) ........................................................................................................................................... 61 Figure 2.13. TEM muscle sections ................................................................................................ 62 Figure 2.14. Changes in the ratio of cibarial metabolic rate (MRcib) to excretion rate (Q) with increases in xylem tension ............................................................................................................. 63 Figure 2.15. Relationship between xylem tension and percent muscle efficiency ........................ 64 Figure 2.16. Field xylem tensions ................................................................................................. 65    xii  List of Symbols and Abbreviations  °C  degrees Celsius CDM  cibarial dilator muscle CO2  carbon dioxide CSACibD cross-sectional area of the cibarial diaphragm F  force FCibD component of CDM’s isometric contraction force acting on the cibarial diaphragm parallel to the apodeme FCDM   isometric contraction force of the CDM parallel to muscle fibre’s axis  FCO2  fractional concentration of CO2 fpump  pumping frequency IRGA  infra-red gas analyzer J  Joules K2O  soluble potash LED  light-emitting diode micro-CT micro-computed tomography MPa  Megapascal MR  metabolic rate MRcib  cibarial metabolic rate N  Newton N  Nitrogen N2  Nitrogen gas NPK  Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium O2  Oxygen P  power p  pressure, equivalent to tension when p < 0 PEG  polyethylene glycol PFA  paraformaldehyde xiii  P2O5  available phosphate ppm  parts per million Ψ  water potential Q  volumetric xylem excretion rate RER  respiratory exchange ratio RMR  resting metabolic rate TEM  transmission electron microscopy V̇CO2  CO2 flow rate V̇I  incurrent flow rate V̇O2  O2 flow rate VPO  vapour pressure osmometer W  Watts      xiv  Acknowledgements  There are many people that I would like to thank for their contributions – big or small, in one form or another – to the earning of my Master’s degree and for making my two years at UBC an unforgettable experience. The biggest thanks go to my supervisor Dr. Philip Matthews for first accepting me into his lab and then proceeding to fill my brain with a plethora of knowledge throughout my time at UBC. Phil has been such an encouraging, understanding, and enthusiastic teacher and mentor. He not only came up with the coolest project for me, but also gave me the guidance I needed along the way. Thank you, Phil! Many thanks also go to my committee members – Drs. Colin Brauner, Robert Shadwick, and Sean Michaletz – whose guidance and input also greatly helped me to shape and complete my thesis. Of course, the Matthews’ Lab would not be the Matthews’ Lab without all of the wonderful people it is comprised of. Thank you to Daniel Lee, Evan McKenzie, Tormod Rowe, and Ryan Sprenger for making it so easy to become a part of the lab and for always making me smile. Not only were you all a constant source of companionship, but also great colleagues to bounce ideas off or get feedback from. Additional thanks are definitely in order for all the other members of the Zoology and Botany departments who helped me throughout my thesis, particularly those of the Comparative Physiology family. A huge thank you also goes to the awesome Emma Green, whom I was lucky enough to work with for not one summer, but two. Emma was an NSERC USRA undergraduate that worked in our lab in the summers. She contributed a tremendous amount of work to my thesis xv  and was such a dedicated member of the lab. Whether it was analyzing micro-CT scans or helping me to catch froghoppers, Emma was always such a help. Thank you to Dr. Simone Castellarin for lending me his Scholander-Hammel pressure bomb; to Drs. Colin Brauner and Chris Wood for allowing the use of your vapour pressure osmometers; to BIF and Wax-it for sectioning/imaging of samples; to Prairie Seeds for supplying the seemingly only dwarf fava bean seeds around; to McGill University for performing the micro-CT scans; to the UBC Department of Botany for the use of their growth chambers; and to the spittlebugs and froghoppers that gave their lives (and heads) in the name of science. Lastly, none of this would have been possible without the encouragement and support of my loving grandparents, mom, and brother. Thank you for helping me to pursue my education and follow my dreams.   xvi    For my Grandma  1  Chapter 1: Introduction  1.1 Overview Insects are the most abundant and important herbivorous animals on the planet in both biomass and species diversity (Bar-On et al., 2018; Scudder, 2017). While many phytophagous insects feed directly on a plant’s tissues, mechanically chewing and ingesting roots, stems, leaves, flowers, or fruits, many insects also feed exclusively on the sap flowing within conductive vessels of vascular plants. Although these sap-feeding insects may do less direct damage to the plant, they are among the most destructive agricultural pests due to their role in transmitting disease (Dietrich, 2009). The mechanics of their fluid-feeding habit are particularly interesting since the liquid pressures within a plant’s vascular tissues vary from positive to extremely negative. Despite the agricultural importance of sap-feeding insects, many questions remain regarding how these insects feed on plant sap under tension, including how they generate the forces necessary to extract the sap, the mechanical limits of sap extraction, and the metabolic costs associated with this feeding strategy. Furthermore, answering these questions has the potential to reveal much about the tensions within an intact plant’s vasculature – tensions which have proven to be highly challenging to measure reliably in situ. Here, I consider the physics of sap transport in plants, the structure of the pump apparatus used by sap-feeding bugs (Hemiptera), and the physiological and energetic challenges associated with this feeding strategy. Finally, I outline the research questions to be examined within this thesis.  2  1.2 Xylem tension of plants Vascular plants possess two types of conductive tissue to transport water, nutrients, ions, and other molecules between their leaves and roots: xylem and phloem (Press and Whittaker, 1993). While phloem sieve tubes move a sugary sap from sources (i.e., leaves) to sinks (i.e., regions of growth such as roots) under positive pressure by means of the Münch mechanism, xylem vessels transport a watery sap from the roots to the leaves under tension (i.e., negative pressure) according to the cohesion-tension model (Fig. 2.1; Jensen et al., 2016). The transport of water through xylem conduits in plants is a passive process (Jensen et al., 2016) driven by the gradient in water potential (Ψ) that exists between the soil and the air. As water evaporates from the leaves, the water potential decreases moving further up the plant from the roots (Steudle, 2001). Thus, water is drawn from the soil, where Ψ is highest, through xylem vessels in the roots and stems, and up into the leaves, where Ψ is lowest, where it replaces the water lost to the atmosphere by transpiration (Scholander et al., 1965). As the thin filaments of water within the xylem vessels are continuous between these two points, they experience a tremendous tension. However, water can withstand this tension without cavitating (vapourization of water when the xylem tension exceeds that of the atmosphere, resulting in embolism; Pockman and Sperry, 2000) due to its cohesive and adhesive properties, which result from the strong hydrogen bonds between molecules. This intermolecular attraction, combined with the tension imposed by the water potential gradient, forms the basis of the cohesion-tension theory of water ascent (Dixon and Joly, 1894). The cohesion-tension theory is widely accepted as being the only theory that accurately explains the transport of water in plants (Angeles et al., 2004). Xylem tensions typically range from -0.5 to -1.5 MPa in a herbaceous plant that is not experiencing water stress (Bhattacharya, 2019). However, some of the most water-stressed plants 3  (e.g., desert plants) are believed to have tensions in excess of -8 MPa (Scholander et al., 1965), while the tensions at the tops of trees have been recorded in excess of -2 MPa (Scholander et al., 1965). Two tools exist for measuring xylem tension: the pressure probe and the Scholander-Hammel pressure bomb. The pressure probe involves inserting a capillary filled with silicone oil and water directly into a xylem vessel (Milburn, 1996). The xylem tension is transmitted through the liquid and measured by a pressure transducer mounted on the probe (Wei et al., 2001). The pressure probe is limited in that, although it gives a direct measurement of xylem tension in situ, it tends to cause emboli at tensions of -0.7 MPa or greater (Jensen et al., 2016). This method of measurement is also biased in that pressure probes are limited to immature xylem vessels that are only partially connected with the main xylem system (Milburn, 1996). The small tensions measured when using the pressure probe may also be attributed to improper technique, such as not fully inserting the tip of probe tip into the xylem vessel or having an air bubble trapped in the probe tip while inserting it (Wei et al., 2001). Furthermore, cavitation often occurs before the pressure transducer can give a stable reading – a reading that is not equivalent to the true xylem tension (Wei et al., 2001). These drawbacks make this tool less reliable for measuring xylem tension accurately. While the pressure probe has been able to measure relatively low xylem tensions, the Scholander-Hammel pressure bomb has measured significantly higher values, with tensions as high as -10 MPa (Wei et al., 1999a; Wei, et al., 1999b; Balling and Zimmerman, 1990). The pressure bomb method for measuring xylem tension involves taking a section of cut plant stem, enclosing the leaves within a pressure chamber while the cut end of the stem protrudes through a sealable rubber gasket, then applying a positive pressure to the leaves (Fig. 2.2). The pressure at which the xylem sap just begins to well from the cut surface of the stem is assumed to be equal 4  and opposite to the xylem tension that existed within the plant before the stem was cut (Scholander et al., 1965b). Although the pressure bomb only allows xylem tension to be measured on excised tissue, it is widely accepted and used (Cochard et al., 2001). The one major drawback of the pressure bomb is the inability to check its accuracy due to the lack of alternative methods (Holbrook et al., 1995). One study validated the pressure bomb technique by demonstrating the correlation between stem diameter variations and measured changes in water potential and thereby confirmed its agreement with other techniques for measuring xylem tension (Cochard et al., 2001). The two means of measuring xylem tension are in agreement until at least -0.8 MPa (Wei et al., 2001; Wei et al., 1999a), with recent work demonstrating the pressure probe to measure tensions as high as -1 MPa, increasing the range of values that align between the pressure probe and pressure bomb, although a large gap still exists (Wei et al., 2001). However, there exists an as-of-yet unexplored biological alternative for measuring xylem tensions in situ. Some insects have evolved to feed exclusively on xylem sap, thus making them the equivalent of a biological pressure probe. The mechanics of fluid pumping mean that it should be possible to examine the morphology of the biological pump and infer the tensions it can work against from mechanical principles, as well as measure the metabolic cost of fluid extraction directly, and estimate xylem tension from energy expenditure. By taking this approach, it should be possible to confirm whether the xylem tensions measured using the pressure bomb approach agree with those determined using a pump selected by evolution to extract xylem sap.  5  1.3 Anatomy of xylem-feeding insects Xylem-feeding insects are contained within the order Hemiptera (“true bugs”), the largest order of the superorder Exopterygota and composed of more than 90,000 species in nearly 140 different families (Cranston and Gullan, 2009). As an order of fluid feeders, Hemipterans have modified their mouthparts into a proboscis or rostrum that is used exclusively for piercing and sucking. The labium has lengthened and surrounded the mandibles and maxillary palpi, which have also lengthened to form stylets (Kingsolver and Daniel, 1995). All Hemiptera ingest their liquid food using a muscular diaphragm pump in their head called a cibarial pump (Fig. 2.3; Ruschioni et al., 2019). The pump itself consists of a lozenge-shaped chamber called a cibarium, which has a ‘U’ shaped posterior portion similar to a boat’s keel, roofed over by a flexible anterior cibarial diaphragm, or piston. A wide, sagitally-oriented apodeme arises from the midline of the diaphragm. The bipennate cibarial dilator muscle (CDM) attaches onto this apodeme before fanning out and inserting on the internal lateral walls of the postclypeal exoskeleton (Fig. 2.3). Thus, when the CDM contracts, the cibarial diaphragm is pulled away from the cibarium, expanding the chamber’s internal volume and drawing in liquid (Ruschioni et al., 2019). When the CDM relaxes, the diaphragm falls, and the elastic recoil of the diaphragm allows the cibarial pump to move the liquid onward to the pharynx, oesophagus, and crop (Ruschioni et al., 2019). The force exerted by the CDM over the cross-sectional area of the cibarial diaphragm determines the tension that exists in the fluid-filled cibarium.  Despite the potential difficulties associated with feeding exclusively on xylem sap, there is an entire subset of insects that feed primarily or exclusively on xylem. One such xylophage is the meadow spittlebug (Philaenus spumarius), the adults of which are referred to as froghoppers. This small insect (~5 mm in length) has a global distribution (Seabra et al., 2010), and is also an 6  important agricultural pest, transmitting diseases such as Xylella fastidiosa (Cornara et al., 2018) via the saliva they inject into a plant during feeding. In order for an insect to be able to feed on xylem, it must produce a tension with its cibarial pump that is greater than that of the xylem within the host plant from which it is drinking (Raven, 1983). It has been suggested that P. spumarius may be capable of producing tensions within its cibarium that exceed -0.1 MPa, with the potential to be amplified to -0.24 MPa due to the geometry of the cibarial anatomy (Kim, 2013; Malone et al., 1999). In contrast, Raven (1983) suggested that xylem-feeding insects could potentially work against a maximum of -0.3 to           -0.5 MPa of tension. These estimates were shown to be much too low, as Malone et al. (1999) observed P. spumarius drinking from xylem with tensions exceeding -1 MPa as measured using a pressure bomb. And even higher increases in tension have not been shown to deter xylem-feeding insects from drinking at the same rate (Mittler, 1967). By manipulating the hydrostatic tension of a blackberry runner by raising it 9 meters above the roots, Mittler (1967) was able to show that the excretion rate (Q) of feeding sharpshooters did not change with a -0.1 MPa increase in xylem tension. A similar experiment performed with feeding leafhoppers demonstrated the ability for Homalodisca vitripennis (formerly H. coagulata) to feed from high xylem tensions as measured by the pressure bomb (Andersen et al., 1992), with midday values of Q on water stressed plants decreasing exponentially with increasing xylem tension and feeding stopping altogether at tensions greater than -2.1 MPa (Andersen et al., 1992). Thus, while froghoppers evidently have the ability to feed on xylem, a full explanation of their ability to feed on high-tension xylem sap is still lacking.  7  1.4 Anatomical and physiological dilemmas Xylem-feeding insects face the dual dilemma of feeding on a nutritionally-poor food that is also energetically expensive to extract. Thus, froghoppers must have not only the anatomical adaptations for drinking high-tension xylem sap, but must also adopt a feeding behaviour based on its low nutrient value – increasing how much they drink (Kim, 2013). The meadow spittlebug has been observed excreting xylem fluid at a rate of 1.2 µl min-1 to over 3.0 µl min-1               (20-50 nl s-1), equivalent to 150× their body mass per day (Malone et al., 1999; Mittler, 1967), a rate that is 100-fold greater than that of phloem-feeding insects whose food source is nutrient-rich (Kim, 2013). To extract what little nutrients are present in xylem sap, xylem-feeding insects have modified their midgut into a filter chamber, an elaboration of the gut that allows them to efficiently extract these nutrients from large volumes of dilute xylem sap (Marshall and Cheung, 1974). While it is evident that froghoppers compensate for xylem’s poor nutrient content by significantly increasing the quantity of sap they ingest, the energetic consequences of this feeding strategy, and how xylem tensions that exceed -1 MPa alter the cost of feeding, have not been well explained. A few different explanations may account for these observations: (1) froghoppers are not actually feeding from xylem, (2) xylem tensions are not as high as they are thought to be, (3) xylem sap is not as nutrient poor as it is thought, or (4) the biomechanics of the froghopper’s feeding anatomy are sufficient to generate the necessary power to drink from high-tension xylem. The first point can be discounted as studies have shown that the feeding punctures of P. spumarius terminate in xylem vessels 88-90% of the time (Horsfield, 1978). The second point could occur, either if the insects were able to reduce xylem tension somehow during feeding, or if currently accepted methods for measuring plant xylem tensions are inaccurate. However, no 8  currently described mechanism could plausibly reduce xylem tension, and pressure bombs and pressure probes do agree where their measurement ranges overlap. Measuring xylem tensions in situ at high tensions will validate the accuracy of the pressure bomb. This leaves explanations (3) and (4), which are not mutually exclusive. The power required to extract xylem at a given volumetric flow rate can be calculated using the hydraulic power equation:  P = Q∆p (1) where the power (P, Watts) required to suck up xylem sap is equivalent to the product of the volumetric fluid flow rate (Q, m3 s-1) and the difference in tension (∆p, Pa). Since Q can be measured from observation, and P can be obtained from metabolic rate, the xylem tension, ∆p, can be calculated. However, this equation assumes the pump is operating with 100 % efficiency, neglecting metabolic and mechanical inefficiencies in energy conversion. There is an additional pressure drop that should be accounted for – the pressure difference required to move fluid through the insect’s stylets which ca be determined using Poiseuille’s Law. A recent study calculated the pressure drop across the stylets of P. spumarius across a range of volumetric flows, showing that the pressure drop across the stylets is negligible at biologically relevant flow rates when compared to the range of xylem tensions routinely encountered in plants (Ranieri et al., 2020). This relationship between the physics and metabolic cost of drinking xylem sap can provide insight into in situ xylem tensions.  1.5 Research questions The overall goal of this thesis is two-fold: using the xylem-feeding froghopper P. spumarius, I aim to (1) use a morphometric approach to estimate the maximum tensions that can 9  be generated with the cibarial pump from biomechanical principles and (2) use respirometry to determine the metabolic cost of xylem feeding and how this changes with xylem tension. The results of aim (1) will then be used to estimate the theoretical range of xylem tensions that P. spumarius can feed on. The results of aim (2) will elucidate the energy balance of the feeding insect, showing how the net energy gained from the xylem sap compares to the energy expended in its extraction. Finally, it will also demonstrate a novel approach for independently validating the cohesion-tension theory, confirming whether the currently accepted range for xylem tensions obtained using the pressure bomb method is reasonable. 10  Chapter 2: Comparing the xylem tensions obtained phytologically, physiologically, and morphologically  2.1 Introduction Phytologists have long asserted the existence of high xylem tensions in plants. Despite controversies that have existed around the accuracy of different tools for measuring xylem tension, there has been widespread agreement with the use of the Scholander-Hammel pressure bomb, which has revealed tensions upwards of -1 MPa (Bhattacharya, 2019; Scholander et al., 1965). Although the tensions the pressure bomb gives are indirect measurements, it is difficult to obtain in situ measurements of xylem tension with other methods such as pressure probes, which often result in cavitation of the xylem sap and inaccurate values (Jensen et al., 2016; Wei et al., 2001). Based on the magnitudes of xylem tension given by the pressure bomb, the sap that exists within xylem tissue is under considerable tension and should therefore be difficult to extract. Despite this, many insects feed exclusively on xylem sap, an observation that leads to several immediate questions with the most prominent being how these insects are able to perform this seemingly impossible feat. I began by looking at the morphology and muscle architecture that are associated with the xylem feeding of this insect. The cibarial anatomy of the insect allows it to feed, and micro-CT imaging gave an in-depth look at how xylem sap moves through the internal anatomy as well as the forces, areas, and volumes associated with feeding activity. These measurements could be 11  used to calculate the maximum tensions that individual froghoppers are capable of producing, and thus the maximum xylem tensions they can work against in order to successfully feed.  Xylem sap is an extremely low-nutrient liquid, making it a less-than-ideal food source for an insect that appears to have to work hard against a plant’s xylem tension in order to obtain it (Jensen et al., 2016; Kim, 2013). That xylophages can live on xylem sap alone, however, implies it must have sufficient nutrients, although the cost of fluid extraction is presumably high. To address this, I focused on one commonly-found and widely-spread xylophage – the meadow spittlebug (Philaenus spumarius). Using respirometry, I could quantify the metabolic cost associated with xylem feeding. It is from this metabolic cost, as well as measurements of the froghoppers’ excretion, that the plant’s in situ xylem tensions could be calculated by using the relationship between the power of a pump, the rate of flow, and the pressure differential the pump works against. The cibarial tensions calculated from micro-CT scans, along with those calculated using metabolic rate, provide a rare insight into in situ xylem tensions by using an insect to directly measure the tension that exists in plants. From these separate biological methods, I was able to quantify the tensions these insects can create with their cibarial anatomy, as well as demonstrate how costly it is for them to feed from xylem.  2.2 Materials and Methods 2.2.1 Animals 2.2.1.1 Spittlebug nymphs and froghopper adults Spittlebug nymphs and adult froghoppers of P. spumarius were collected from around UBC Point Grey campus, from early May 2019 until early October. Spittlebugs were collected by hand 12  from a variety of plants, while adult froghoppers were collected from grassy areas using sweep nets following their emergence in June. Both spittlebugs and froghoppers were returned to the lab and placed on pea, alfalfa, or fava bean plants within an aluminum mesh cage (28 cm L ×   28 cm W × 51 cm H). The cage received natural light through a window and was kept at ambient lab temperatures (~20-25 °C). As both spittlebugs and froghoppers were observed feeding on these plants, they could be maintained for days in the lab before being used in experiments. Spittlebugs were kept until they moulted into adult froghoppers, at which point they were used for experiments.  2.2.1.2 Body mass All froghoppers were weighed to 0.01 mg on an electronic balance (XPE205 DeltaRange, Mettler Toledo, Greifensee, Switzerland) after being used in an experiment.  2.2.2 Plants Plants used in experiments were grown from seed, and included the Sutton dwarf broad bean (Vicia faba; Prairie Garden Seeds, Humboldt, SK, Canada), shelling peas (Pisum sativum, var. Green Arrow; West Coast Seeds, Delta, BC, Canada), and alfalfa (Medicago sativa; West Coast Seeds, Delta, BC, Canada). For plants grown in soil, 2-4 seeds of a single species were sown directly into 15.24 cm or 20.32 cm diameter pots filled with ProMix premium potting soil with mycorrhizae and a controlled release peat-based fertilizer (PremierTech, Rivière-du-Loup, QC, CA) with an NPK of 0.30-0.12-0.12. For hydroponically-grown plants, single seeds were sown in 3.81 cm rockwool starter plugs that had been soaked in a hydroponic nutrient solution consisting of 2.64 ml L-1 13  FloraMicro, 3.96 ml L-1 FloraGro, and 1.32 ml L-1 FloraBloom (General Hydroponics, CA, USA). The final solution had an NPK of 0.021-0.010-0.031. These rockwool cubes were then placed in a plastic propagation dome (31.75 cm L × 29.21 cm W × 19.05 cm H) beneath full spectrum LED strip lights (blue: 450-475 nm, red: 625-660 nm, LED Grow Strip, LED World, AB, Canada), which were on from 0800 h to 1700 h. Once the seeds had germinated, but before the plants had outgrown the plastic dome, the rockwool cubes were transferred to hydroponic buckets in a growth chamber. Each hydroponic bucket set-up consisted of a 3.79 L black HDPE bucket with a lid. A 7.62 cm net pot was inserted into a hole cut in the center of the lid, into which was placed 2-3 rockwool cubes and their plants, held in place with Hydroton expanded clay balls (Mother Earth, Germany). Each bucket was filled with nutrient solution up to the bottom of the net pot. To aerate this hydroponic solution and oxygenate the growing roots, a length of 5 mm ID aquarium tubing was threaded through a small hole drilled near the top of each bucket. An air stone was attached to the end of the tubing and held in place on the bottom of the bucket by a 3D-printed bracket hot-glued directly beneath the net pot. All air stones were connected to a dual diaphragm air pump which vigorously bubbled the hydroponic solutions. Both the soil plants and hydroponic buckets were kept in a growth chamber (PGW36, Conviron, Winnipeg, MB, Canada). The light cycle was 12:12 h (using ~31 full spectrum, 5000K LED lights), and the temperature was kept at 20 °C. Plants grown in soil were watered twice a week, while plants grown hydroponically had their nutrient solution topped up once a week.   14  2.2.3 Transmission electron microscopy 2.2.3.1 Preparation Froghoppers were anaesthetized with pure CO2 before having their heads, including the mouthparts and front legs, removed using 2.5 mm Vannas spring scissors. The tissue was then placed directly into fixative (4 % PFA and 2.5 % glutaraldehyde in a 0.1 M, pH 7 sodium phosphate buffer). A volume of the fixative at least 20× that of the tissue was used. The tissue was incubated in the fixative at room temperature for a minimum of 2 h before being refrigerated overnight at 4 °C. They were transferred into a solution of the same phosphate buffer as above for storage. After fixation, samples were post-fixed with osmium tetroxide in sodium cacodylate with microwave-assisted infiltration. Samples were then dehydrated in a series of increasing amounts of EtOH, later substituted with propylene oxide, before being infiltrated with an ascending graded series of epoxy resin and then embedded.  2.2.3.2 Sectioning and imaging An ultra-microtome was used to slice the heads parallel and perpendicular to the muscle fibres of the CDM in order to obtain sarcomere length and the ratio of myofibrils to mitochondria, respectively. These sections were post-stained with uranyl acetate and lead citrate before transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was performed using an AMT XR51 CCD camera with an exposure of 800 ms. Images were saved as TIFF files.  2.2.3.3 Analysis  Sarcomere length was measured using images of parallel sections of muscle imported into ImageJ (V 1.8.0_172, Research Services Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, 15  Bethesda, Maryland, USA). Scale bars provided in the TEM images were used to set the scale for measurements. The line tool was used to measure the distance between z lines, recorded as sarcomere length (µm). For the ratio of myofibrils to mitochondria, the images of perpendicular sections of muscle were imported into Adobe Photoshop (V 21.0.0, Adobe Inc., San Jose, CA, USA). Myofibrils were highlighted in green and mitochondria were highlighted in red. The pixel count for each colour was recorded, along with the total pixel count for the sliced section of muscle.   2.2.4 Micro-CT scans 2.2.4.1 Preparation P. spumarius froghoppers were anaesthetized with pure CO2 before having their heads, including the mouthparts and front legs, removed using 2.5 mm Vannas spring scissors. The tissue was then placed directly into fixative (4 % PFA and 2.5 % glutaraldehyde in a 0.1 M, pH 7 sodium phosphate buffer). A volume of the fixative at least 20× that of the tissue was used. The tissue was incubated in the fixative at room temperature for a minimum of 2 h before being refrigerated overnight at 4 °C. They were then transferred into 70 % EtOH for storage. Before imaging, the fixed heads were stained for 7 days in 1 % phosphotungstic acid in 70 % EtOH as a contrasting agent.  2.2.4.2 Scanning Prepared heads were placed into a 200 µl PP pipette tip filled with 70 % EtOH for scanning. The samples were imaged and reconstructed with a single field of view, AMC drift 16  correction, and vertical stitching at a resolution of 3.0133 µm using a 3D X-ray microscope (Xradia Versa 520, Zeiss, Oberkochen, Germany).  2.2.4.3 Reconstruction and segmentation Scans were compiled and turned into 3D reconstructions using Dragonfly software (ver. 4.5.0.711, Object Research Systems Inc., Montreal, QC, Canada), where individual froghopper heads were digitally hand-traced in 5-slice increments to isolate specific regions of the head including the CDM, apodeme, and the cibarium. The untraced areas in the images between outlined slices were selected using the interpolation function. For the initial angle estimate of the muscle contraction and apodeme movement vectors, the image plane was oriented to a plane where individual muscle fibres could be followed from the apodeme to the inside of the postclypeus. The vertex of the angle was positioned at the intersection between a muscle fibre and the apodeme, with the first ray extending along the apodeme to the anterior of the segmented head and the second ray extending along the muscle fibre to its origin on the postclypeus (Fig. 2.3D-E). This angle was measured and recorded. For the coordinate-based angle estimate of these vectors, it was assumed that the vertical component of the muscle contraction vector was in line with the force produced. The image plane was oriented parallel to that formed by the apodeme, approximately in line with the anterior/posterior and dorsal/ventral axes of the head. The plane parallel to the apodeme was positioned to give the full area of the apodeme. In this view, two points were placed that defined a vector in the direction of apodeme movement during muscle contraction (Fig. 2.3D-E). Returning to the original view aligned with the anterior/posterior and dorsal/ventral axes of the head, a point was placed at a position where a muscle fibre intersected with the apodeme (Fig. 17  2.3D-E). Using slide bars to translate through the image stack, the physiological cross-sectional view of the CDM was moved upwards following the selected muscle fibre to its attachment point on the postclypeus, where a second point was defined, giving the vector that defined the direction of muscle contraction (Fig. 2.3D-E). Only one vector was taken to represent the direction of muscle contraction for the whole CDM relative to the apodeme, as the pennation angle did not change greatly between individual fibres. The magnitudes of both the apodeme movement vector (#⃗) and the muscle contraction vector (%&⃗ ) were calculated by subtracting the position of the proximal point from that of the distal point for each vector. The angle (θ) between the two resulting vectors was calculated using the following equation:  cos(θ) = (#⃗ × %&⃗ ) / (|#⃗| × |%&⃗ |) (2) The vector and angle calculations were performed with the computational engine WolframAlpha using the points and their coordinates exported from Dragonfly. To determine the physiological cross-sectional area (mm2) of the CDM, a plane was oriented perpendicular to the muscle fibres of one half of the bipennate muscle (Fig. 2.4A). Because no single plane perpendicular to the muscle fibres intersected every muscle fibre of the CDM, the entire volume of the muscle was sectioned into a stack of 1-voxel-thick slices parallel to the initial plane, and the physiological cross-sectional area of the CDM tissue was computed for each slice. Summing the differences in the physiological cross-sectional area between slices if the difference was positive, but not if the difference was negative, allowed the total extent of the muscle’s physiological cross-sectional area to be determined.  To measure the area of the cibarial diaphragm, the image plane was oriented to show the largest diameter cross-section of the cibarium perpendicular to the apodeme (Fig. 2.4B). In this 18  view, the region defined as the cibarial diaphragm was outlined. The cross-sectional areas (mm2) of selected regions of interest were all calculated using the following equation:   CSA = [(resolution)2 × SPC] / 106 (3) where CSA is the cross-sectional area of the region of interest (mm2), the resolution is 3.0133 µm, and SPC is the selected pixel count of the region of interest.  2.2.4.4 Analysis Using the calculated physiological cross-sectional area of the CDM, I was able to determine the isometric contraction force of the CDM (FCDM; N) parallel to muscle fibre orientation by multiplying this area by the estimated specific tension calculated using the following equation relating maximum specific muscle tension (kN m-2) to sarcomere length (µm) (297 kN m-2; Taylor, 2000) where:  Maximum specific muscle tension = 57.854 × sarcomere length + 7.929 (4) The resulting muscle force (FCDM) was then used to determine the total isometric contraction force (FCibD; N) that moved the apodeme forward, calculated using the following equation:  FCibD = FCDM × cos(θ)	 (5) where FCibD is the component of the CDM’s isometric contraction force (N) acting on the cibarial diaphragm, FCDM is the isometric contraction force of the CDM (N) parallel to muscle fibre orientation, and θ is the angle (degrees) between these two vectors.	Using FCibD, I was able to determine the maximum tension (MPa) that the insect was capable of generating using the following equation:  p = -FCibD / (CSACibD) (6) 19  where p is the tension (Pa) within the cibarial chamber, FCibD is the total isometric contraction force (N) of the CDM in the direction of the apodeme’s displacement as calculated from eq. 5, and CSACibD is the cross-sectional area of the cibarial diaphragm (m2).  2.2.5 Respirometry trials 2.2.5.1 Measuring resting metabolic rate (RMR) For each experiment, flow-through respirometry (Fig. 2.5) was used to measure the metabolic cost of feeding from xylem. Froghoppers were recorded feeding on hydroponically-grown plants before and after a manipulation to change the plant’s xylem tension during feeding (exposed to an osmotic manipulation), as well as while feeding on hydroponically-grown and soil-grown plants without manipulation. First, the resting metabolic rate (RMR) of the froghopper was measured. A stream of dry, CO2-free air was produced by a regenerative purge gas generator (CDA4, Puregas, Broomfield, CO, USA) before being passed through a column of Drierite (W. A. Hammond Drierite Co. Ltd, Xenia, OH, USA) and two 1 L columns of 4-8 mesh soda lime to scrub the air of any remaining moisture or CO2. This dry, CO2-free air stream was then split in two, with each channel directed through a 0-100 ml min-1 mass flow controller (Model MC-100SCCM-D/5M, Alicat Scientific, Tucson, AZ, USA). One air stream, metered at 50 ml min-1, passed through cell A of a two-channel LI-7000 infra-red CO2/H2O gas analyzer (IRGA; LI-COR, Lincoln, NE, USA) before being saturated with water vapour at room temperature by passing through a 14 cm length of Nafion tubing (1.4-1.7 mm ID, TT-070, CD Nova, Surrey, BC, Canada) submerged in reverse osmosis water. This humidified air was then flushed through a 2 ml glass vial containing a resting, non-feeding froghopper and a small piece of nylon mesh to provide grip for the insect. 20  Two holes were made in the vial lid to serve as inlet and outlet ports. A 21-gauge stainless steel hypodermic needle with Luer fittings was epoxied into each hole, to which tubing was attached, connecting the vial to the rest of the respirometry set-up. The air leaving the vial was dried by passing it through a Nafion drying column in a shell-and-tube configuration. This consisted of a 50 cm length of TT-070 Nafion tubing fixed within a 3.175 mm internal diameter, 50 cm long acrylic tube. The second mass flow controller with a flow rate of 150 ml min-1 flushed dry, CO2-free air through the space between the inner wall of the acrylic tube and outer wall of the Nafion tube in a countercurrent direction to remove any remaining moisture. Finally, the dry excurrent air was passed through cell B of the infra-red CO2/H2O gas analyzer, before venting to the atmosphere. The difference between the A and B cells of the IRGA gave the concentration of CO2 (FCO2) in the excurrent airstream. The FCO2 (µmol CO2 mol-1, or ppm) was measured continuously at 2 Hz using a Powerlab 8/35 DAQ analog to digital converter (ADInstruments, Bella Vista, NSW, Australia), and recorded on LabChart (V. 8.1.5, ADInstruments) running on a PC. The FCO2 trace was shifted -5 seconds relative to the other channels to align the trace with the manually entered markers for video recordings by accounting for the delay in air moving from the respirometry chamber to the IRGA. The FCO2 of the empty vial was recorded for 10 minutes prior to introducing the insect to establish a baseline later used to calculate the net resting FCO2. To establish RMR, a froghopper was placed in the 2 ml vial for 30 min. The RMR was calculated from the FCO2 values averaged over the last 10 min of recording.  2.2.5.2 Measuring feeding metabolic rate The same set-up used to measure RMR was also used to measure the cibarial metabolic rate (MRcib) – i.e., the metabolic cost associated with feeding alone. Here, the 2 ml vial was 21  replaced with a CNC-milled clear acrylic respirometry chamber (Fig. 2.6) with an internal volume of 2.4 cm3. This chamber had two removable doors, one for clamping around the plant stem, the other for accessing the insect. Two notches on the side of the main body of the chamber and a groove in the smaller door allowed the chamber to be clamped around the stem of a plant (Fig. 2.6). The larger door of the chamber was secured by a magnet that aligned with a second magnet epoxied into the main body of the chamber (Fig. 2.6B-D). The edges of both doors, and the open areas around the stem of the plant, were all sealed with 2-part low viscosity polyvinylsiloxane casting material (GC Exaflex 138120 Light Body, GC America Inc., IL, USA) to ensure an air-tight seal. Two short lengths of 21-gauge stainless steel hypodermic tubing were epoxied into two holes in the back of the chamber to connect to the rest of the respirometry set-up (Fig. 2.6B-D). A single white 25 mA LED was used to illuminate the insect while it was feeding (Fig. 2.6A). To ensure that any respiration or photosynthesis by the plant stem was accounted for, the plant stem was sealed into the empty respirometry chamber, first with the LED off to give a baseline for the CO2 that the plant was contributing, then with the LED on. The FCO2 of the plant with the LED on was taken to establish a baseline later used to calculate the net feeding FCO2. For the MRcib, the insect was added to the chamber with the plant and at least 30 min of active feeding was recorded. The FCO2 of the feeding insect was recorded following the same procedure as above. The FCO2 values were averaged over each period of time that corresponded with a recorded video.    22  2.2.5.3 Calculating metabolic power from respirometry traces The insect’s rate of CO2 production (V̇CO2) was calculated from average FCO2 values extracted from LabChart. FCO2 was first converted to V̇CO2 using the following equation:  V̇CO2 = FCO2 / 106 × V̇I (7) where V̇CO2 is the rate of CO2 production (ml min-1) by the insect, FCO2 is the concentration (ppm) in the air stream, and V̇I is the incurrent flow rate of dry, CO2 free air (ml min-1). To calculate the net resting V̇CO2, the empty vial baseline V̇CO2 value was subtracted from the total V̇CO2 recorded during resting. To calculate the V̇CO2 associated with xylem feeding alone, both the insect’s resting V̇CO2 and empty feeding chamber plant baseline V̇CO2 values were subtracted from the total V̇CO2 recorded during feeding, leaving the net feeding V̇CO2. The net feeding V̇CO2 values were then converted to V̇O2 using the following equation:  V̇O2 = V̇CO2 / RER (8) where V̇O2 is the rate of O2 consumption (ml min-1) by the insect and RER is the respiratory exchange ratio. An RER value of 0.95 was used, as had been determined previously for P. spumarius froghoppers (Beckett et al., 2019). To calculate the power of the cibarial pump (i.e., cibarial metabolic rate or MRcib), the net V̇O2 was first converted from ml min-1 to µl hr-1 and then multiplied by an oxyjoule equivalent of 21.58 J ml-1 O2 (Beckett et al., 2019; Lighton, 2008), which had been converted to J µl-1. The power, in J hr-1, was converted to µJ s-1, or µW.   2.2.5.4 Recording temperature Both resting and feeding chamber temperatures were measured continuously at 2 Hz during all respirometry trials using a 0.010 gauge T-type thermocouple and a thermocouple to analog converter (TAC80B-T, Omega Engineering, QC, Canada) connected to the Powerlab 8/35 23  DAQ analog to digital converter (ADInstruments), and recorded on LabChart (V. 8.1.5, ADInstruments).  2.2.5.5 Recording videos A full-frame mirrorless 30.3 MP camera (EOS R, Canon, Brampton, ON, Canada) with an MP-E 65 mm f/2.8, 1-5× macro lens (Canon, Tokyo, Japan) aimed through the larger side door of the chamber was used to record 30 s high-definition videos of the insect while feeding to record cibarial pumping and droplet excretion during a specific trial. Video recording started immediately after active feeding was observed and subsequent videos were taken at approximately 3 min intervals for the duration of the trial to record feeding before and after manipulation of xylem tension. Videos were recorded at a resolution of 1280 × 720 pixels and at a frame rate of 59.95 fps. Following a trial, a calibration scale was photographed at the same magnification as the video and with a resolution of 6720 × 4478 pixels. These calibration images were cropped on the horizontal axis to maintain the same scale as the videos, then resampled to give a final resolution of 1280 × 853 pixels.  2.2.5.6 Manipulations of xylem tension with PEG 6000 To investigate the effect of xylem tension on the metabolic cost of xylem feeding, the osmolyte polyethylene glycol (PEG) was used. PEG is a water-soluble polymer commonly used to increase the osmotic pressure of a solution and increase the xylem tension in plants (Kaufmann and Eckard, 1971). PEG with a molecular weight of 6000 g mol-1 (PEG 6000) was used. Solutions were made by combining 600, 900, or 1100 g of PEG with approximately 3 L of water to produce solutions with an osmotic pressure of approximately -0.5, -1, and -1.5 MPa, 24  respectively (Michel and Kaufmann, 1973; Michel, 1983). A vapour pressure osmometer (VPO; Vapro 5600, Wescor Inc, UT, USA) was used to determine the osmolality of the PEG solutions. The VPO was calibrated each day using standards of 100, 290, and 1000 mmol kg-1. The osmolality of PEG solutions was tested three times and averaged, immediately before their use in trials, and was converted to osmotic pressure using the following equation:  Π = Osmolarity × R × T (9) where Π is the osmotic pressure (kPa), the osmolarity is given in Osm L-1, R is the universal gas constant (8.31441 J mol-1 K-1), and T is the solution’s temperature (K). The VPO gives readings of osmolality (mmol kg-1), which were divided by 1,000 to give the osmolarity to input into this equation. The resulting osmotic pressure was multiplied by 0.001 to give the pressure in MPa. A system consisting of three 3.79 L buckets was set up that allowed the xylem tension of hydroponically-grown plants to be manipulated by replacing the nutrient solution with a PEG 6000 solution during a respirometry trial. After a froghopper had fed continuously for 30 mins on a hydroponic plant, the nutrient solution around the roots of the plant was drained into the lower bucket by opening the lower tap. After the nutrient solution had drained completely, this tap was closed and the upper tap was opened, refilling this bucket with PEG solution from the upper bucket. The time between draining the nutrient solution from around the plant’s roots and replacing it with PEG solution was approximately 2 min. The plant roots were exposed to PEG for at least 30 min, during which time the froghopper’s activity and MRcib continued to be recorded.    25  2.2.5.7 Measuring xylem tension Xylem tension was measured on excised leaves and stems using a Scholander-Hammel pressure bomb (Model 615, PMS Instrument Company, OR, USA). Leaves were not bagged prior to measurement and all measurements were completed within 5 min. For measurements on plants used in feeding experiments, a section of stem, including the leaf or leaves on the end, was cut off using a single edge razor blade, and immediately inserted into the pressure bomb chamber. A hand lens was used to identify the emergence of xylem from the cut end of the stem, at which point the xylem tension was recorded in MPa. These measurements were taken at the end of each feeding experiment, 10-60 min after the addition of PEG. This same method was used to measure the xylem tensions of both soil and hydroponically-grown V. faba, P. sativum, and M. sativa that were not manipulated with PEG and were not associated with experimental feeding trials in order to establish a baseline for each species and growing method (Table 2.1). Field xylem tensions were also measured for local plant species on which P. spumarius spittlebugs and froghoppers were observed feeding, including cow vetch (Vicia cracca), salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis), sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella), thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus), trailing blackberry (Rubus ursinus), red elderberry (Sambucus racemosa), common nipplewort (Lapsana communis), and mint (Mentha sp.). These plants were growing around UBC Point Grey campus. Xylem tension measurements, and the corresponding air temperatures, were taken from May to July 2019 between 0830 h and 1800 h.    26  2.2.6 Measuring feeding parameters 2.2.6.1 Pumping frequency (fpump) Cibarial pumping activity could be detected as both subtle colour changes and slight movement of the insect’s enlarged postclypeus, associated with the rhythmic contractions of the cibarial dilator muscle within. Videos were analyzed using Eulerian magnification software, which amplifies otherwise subtle changes in either colour or motion, in order to more clearly see these cibarial pumping events. Most of the videos were uploaded to the program Lambda Vue; video files that were too large were magnified in MATLAB using the direct source code (ver. 1.1, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA; Wu et al., 2012). The fpump was determined by watching the amplified video and counting the total number of pumping events that occurred between the first and final droplets expelled during a single video, divided by the elapsed time.   2.2.6.2 Droplet size and excretion rate (Q) Droplet size and Q were also extracted from videos of the experimental trials. Videos were opened with VLC media player (V. 3.0.8, VideoLAN, Paris, France), and only the video frames that showed individual droplets at their largest size, just before they were flicked off the abdomen, were extracted as PNG images and imported into ImageJ (V 1.8.0_172, Research Services Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA). The PNG images had the same pixel dimensions as the videos. The scale bars were imported as JPG images into ImageJ and used to set the scale for droplet measurements. Assuming that these droplets were perfectly spherical, the circle tool was then used to measure their circumference (mm), which was then used to calculate the droplet’s volume (µl). The volumes of the droplets – 27  from the second droplet to the final droplet – were summed to give the total volume of xylem excreted that corresponded with the total number of pumping events as determined above. Dividing this volume by number of pumping events gave cibarial stroke volume (µl pump-1). The total volume of excreted xylem was also divided by the period of time between the first unmeasured droplet and final droplet in order to calculate the volumetric xylem excretion rate, Q (µl min-1).  2.2.7 Embedded mouthpart sectioning After measuring the MRcib for an individual froghopper, the incurrent air stream of dry, CO2-free air to the chamber was switched to pure CO2, anaesthetizing the insect in position while it was actively feeding. The sheathed stylets were cut away from the rest of the head with         2.5 mm Vannas spring scissors, leaving the mouthparts still inserted in the plant. The spring scissors were then used to cut away the small section of the stem containing the mouthparts. The stem with the embedded mouthparts was placed directly into cold FAA fixative consisting of  100 ml of 95 % ethanol, 70 ml of dH2O, 20 ml of 37 % formaldehyde solution, and 10 ml of glacial acetic acid. The sample was fixed overnight in a 4 °C refrigerator, before being dehydrated in a series of tert-butanol (TBA), 95 % ethanol, and dH2O for one hour per solution. The fixed sample was then embedded in paraffin, cut into 8 μm-thick transverse sections through the stem, and stained with safranin and fast green.  2.2.8 Statistical analyses Data were analyzed in R ver. 3.5.1 (R Core Team, 2018) running in RStudio ver. 1.1.463 (RStudio, Inc., 2009-2018). Overall means for the pre-and post-PEG values of fpump, Q, and 28  MRcib are all given ± SD. Overall means for sarcomere length are also given ± SD. The feeding parameters of fpump, Q, the ratio of Q to fpump, MRcib, and the ratio of MRcib to Q were all analyzed as response variables using linear mixed effects models, with xylem tension as the predictor variable and the random effect corresponding to individual insects, using the ggplot2 (Wickham, 2016), nlme (ver. 3.1-137; Pinheiro et al., 2018), and stargazer (ver. 5.2.1; Hlavac, 2018) packages. Pre-PEG xylem tensions in these models were averaged from non-manipulated plants of the same species, while post-PEG xylem tensions were those measured after each trial using the pressure bomb.  2.3 Results 2.3.1 Verification of xylem feeding The results of the embedded mouthpart sectioning are shown in Figure 2.7, showing that the mouthparts and salivary sheath of the froghopper are inserted into the xylem vessels.  2.3.2 Resting metabolic rate (RMR) Froghoppers had an average RMR of 48.7 µW (0.15 µl O2 h-1; Table 2.2).  2.3.3 The effect of changes in xylem tension on: 2.3.3.1 Pumping frequency (fpump) For PEG-manipulated trials, the average pre-PEG fpump was 0.89 ± 0.21 Hz and the average post-PEG fpump was 0.98 ± 0.27 Hz (Table 2.3). Average fpump values ranged from 0.64-1.32 Hz and 0.50-1.29 Hz before and after the introduction of PEG, respectively (Table 2.3). The 29  linear mixed-effects model indicated a statistically significant but slight increase overall (Table 2.6; Fig. 2.8), giving the following regression:  fpump (Hz) = -0.255[xylem tension (MPa)] + 0.742 (10)  2.3.3.2 Xylem excretion rate (Q) For PEG-manipulated trials, the average pre-PEG Q was 0.58 ± 0.23 µl min-1 and the average post-PEG Q was 0.62 ± 0.27 µl min-1 (Table 2.4). The linear mixed-effects model showed no statistically significant association between xylem tension and Q (Table 2.6; Fig. 2.9). Q values ranged from 0.27-0.92 µl min-1 and 0.19-1.05 µl min-1 before and after the introduction of PEG, respectively (Table 2.4).  2.3.3.3 Cibarial metabolic rate (MRcib) The introduction of PEG was associated with a significant increase in the MRcib of the feeding froghoppers, with the linear mixed-effects model indicating a statistically significant association between measured xylem tension and MRcib (Table 2.6; Fig. 2.10). The regression for this relationship is:   MRcib (µW) = -27.186[xylem tension (MPa)] + 10.349 (11) For PEG-manipulated trials, the average pre-PEG MRcib was 25.3 ± 12.5 µW and the average post-PEG MRcib was 45.1 ± 27.7 µW (Table 2.5). MRcib ranged from 10.8-41.6 µW and 23.2-103.5 µW before and after the introduction of PEG, respectively (Table 2.5).    30  2.3.3.4 Ratio of excretion rate to pumping frequency (Q / fpump) For PEG-manipulated trials, the ratio of Q to fpump had no statistically significant association with the measured xylem tension, as shown by the linear mixed-effects model (Table 2.6), with half of the individuals exhibiting an increase in Q / fpump after PEG treatment and the other half exhibiting a decrease (Fig. 2.11).   2.3.3.5 Ratio of cibarial metabolic rate to excretion rate (MRcib / Q) For PEG-manipulated trials, the ratio of MRcib to Q, essentially the ratio of energy expended per unit of xylem extracted, had a statistically significant association with the measured xylem tension as shown by the linear mixed-effects model (Table 2.6), with all of the individuals exhibiting an increase in MRcib / Q (Fig. 2.12). Note that MRcib has been converted to W and Q has been converted to µl s-1 to give MRcib / Q in J µl-1. The regression for this relationship is:  MRcib (W) / Q (µl s-1) = -0.003[xylem tension (MPa)] + 0.002 (12)   2.3.4 Morphological measurements The average measured sarcomere length of the CDM was 5.0 ± 0.3 µm (Table 2.7), giving calculated cibarial tensions between -1.06 and -1.57 MPa for the individual froghopper heads (Table 2.8).   2.4 Discussion Plants use transpiration to generate high tensions within their xylem sap, harnessing the free water potential gradient between soil and air to drive an energetically favorable flow of 31  liquid (Jensen et al., 2016). In contrast, to ingest this xylem sap, froghoppers must generate an even greater tension, but must do so actively, using ATP-powered muscle to extract the liquid mechanically. From my morphological and metabolic analysis of P. spumarius, I show that this insect possesses a cibarium that is eminently capable of generating tensions exceeding those routinely encountered in the xylem vessels of plants, but at a substantial energetic cost.  2.4.1 Muscle morphology The bipennate CDM drives P. spumarius’ suction pump, expanding the volume of the cibarium as it contracts. As low frequency pumping can occur for hours without pause, the muscle must have a substantial aerobic energy producing capacity, as well as the ability to produce high force contractions. TEM imaging revealed the CDM contains an average of 23 % mitochondria and 63 % myofibrils by volume (the remaining 14 % being sarcoplasmic reticulum). This is within the range seen in the leg muscles of the cockroach Periplaneta americana, which possess 35 % mitochondria by volume in the coxal muscle down to less than 10 % in the tibial extensor (Jahromi and Atwood, 1969). However, the mitochondrial fraction of the CDM is lower than that seen in highly aerobic Hymenopteran flight muscle (up to 43 % mitochondria by volume; Casey et al., 1992). From this, it may be concluded that CDM is much like other insect skeletal muscle. However, the specific force production of a muscle (kN m-2) is proportional to sarcomere length and, unlike in vertebrates, sarcomere length in insect muscle can vary substantially. The average CDM sarcomere length is 5.0 ± 0.3 µm (Table 2.7; Fig. 2.13), which is slightly longer than the sarcomere lengths in the coxal muscles of the cockroach (3.7 to 4.2 µm; Jahromi and Atwood, 1969). Using the relationship between maximum specific muscle tension and sarcomere length established by Taylor (2000) for crustacean, vertebrate, and 32  uniramian muscles, the specific tension of the CDM was calculated to be 297 kN m-2, almost    50 % higher than the average value of ~200 kN m-2 assumed for most muscle (Rospars and Meyer-Vernet, 2016). The CDM sarcomeres are certainly not the longest known for an insect, however, being only half the length of those in the adductor muscle associated with the jaws of the trap-jaw ant Myrmoteras (10.3 µm; Larabee et al., 2017). Regardless, the average sarcomere length found in adult CDM is entirely reasonable for insect skeletal muscle adapted for slow contraction and high specific tension.  2.4.2 Cibarium morphology and maximum tension Micro-CT scans of four P. spumarius heads clearly reveal the structure of the cibarium. The pennate CDM has its origin on the inner surface of the postclypeus and inserts onto an apodeme that is oriented perpendicular to the cibarial diaphragm. The CDM fibres attach to the apodeme at a pennation angle (θ) of 35.2°, similar to the relatively high attachment angles seen in ant mandible closer muscles specialized for force production (i.e., Atta sextens, 36.9°, Pogonomyrmex badius, 38.4°; Paul and Gronenberg, 1999). The arrangement of the muscle fibres in parallel within these pennate muscles allows for a greater force for a given muscle volume, making them favourable to other muscle types in the trade-off between force and speed (Eng et al., 2018). During CDM contraction, the apodeme is pulled anteriorly, exerting a force across the diaphragm of the cibarium (an average area of 0.12539 mm2), thereby expanding the volume of the cibarium. Using this value, and assuming that the CDM has a physiological cross-sectional area of 0.67 mm2, a specific tension of 297 kN m-2, and are operating at an average pennation angle of 35.2°, tension within the cibarium was calculated using eq. 6, giving an average cibarial tension of -1.29 MPa. Tensions calculated for the individual heads range from -33  1.06 to -1.57 MPa (Table 2.8), after incorporating the average measured sarcomere length (Table 2.7). In calculating these cibarial tensions, it is worth considering that depending on whether the CT-scanned heads were fixed with their CDM contracted or relaxed, this calculated value would then indicate either the maximum tension that could be produced by an isometric contraction at the end or beginning of a single pumping stroke, respectively. If the CDMs were fully contracted in the scan, the measured pennation angles are as high as they can be and the cibarium is fully expanded, thus the calculated tension would indicate the maximum tension exerted at the end of a single pumping stroke. The cibarial tension calculated at this point in the pumping cycle is therefore a conservative estimate of the upper limit to the xylem tension that a froghopper could feed on. Presumably, the pump could start sucking at even greater tensions, but as the CDM contracts, the muscle fibres rotate and the pennation angle increases, thus reducing the force they can exert. If the CDMs were relaxed in the scanned heads, then the calculated cibarial tensions would indicate the tension at which they could start imbibing xylem sap, but not the somewhat lower tensions at the end of the stroke with a higher pennation angle.  The pressure drop across the insects’ stylets also needs to be taken into consideration. Based on a recent study by Ranieri et al. (2020), the pressure drop across the stylets for an adult P. spumarius is less than 0.001 MPa. This pressure drop is therefore negligible in my calculations.   To investigate the relationship between fpump and volume of xylem extracted per pump, the average pump-stroke volume was calculated from feeding froghoppers and compared to the cibarium volume measured from the micro-CT scans. Average pump volume was determined as:  Q (µl min-1) / fpump (pump min-1) = µl pump-1 (13) 34  where fpump was first converted to pump min-1 in order to calculate this ratio. The mean volume of xylem extracted per pump stroke, both before and after the addition of PEG, were identical, at 0.011 ± 0.002 µl pump-1 (n=7). These pump stroke volumes are only 70 % of the average cibarium volume of 0.0158 µl, as measured from the micro-CT scans. Without knowing whether the scanned chamber volumes represent a fully expanded cibarium, or some intermediate volume, it is still reassuring that the volume of xylem extracted per pump, as calculated from video, is morphologically appropriate.   2.4.3 Physiological responses to changes in xylem tension The power (P) of a pump with an efficiency of ) is related to the pressure differential ∆p across it and its volumetric flow rate Q as:  P = ∆+×-.  (14) Applying this to the cibarial pump of P. spumarius, P is the net metabolic cost of feeding (W), Q is the xylem excretion rate (m3 s-1), and ∆p is equivalent to xylem tension (Pa). Cibarial pump efficiency ()) is a more complicated variable, including the inefficient conversion of metabolic energy (P, measured using respirometry) into mechanical work by the muscle, and the relationship between muscle’s contraction velocity, frequency, and pennation angle. Assuming that ) is constant, as xylem tension increases ∆p, there must be corresponding changes in P and/or Q. The froghoppers showed no significant change in Q with increasing xylem tension, as has been observed in previous experiments on this species (Malone et al., 1999). The pre- and post-PEG averages of Q were 0.58 µl min-1 and 0.62 µl min-1, respectively, although individual  Q values reached upwards of 1.0 µl min-1. These values are well within the range found in 35  previous studies. Malone et al. (1999) found Q values of 1.2 µl min-1 to be common for P. spumarius, with Q sometimes reaching values above 2.5 µl min-1, and they observed Q to remain high even when the plants were treated to induce increased xylem tensions. Horsfield (1978) found similar values in P. spumarius, with averages ranging between roughly 1-1.5 µl min-1 in normal feeding. While Q did not change significantly with an increase in ∆p, a small but significant increase in fpump (~10 %) was observed after the introduction of PEG. The pre- and post-PEG average values for fpump were 0.89 Hz and 0.98 Hz, respectively, with the highest observed frequency being 1.3 Hz. Again, these values are entirely within the range of published fpump values measured from P. spumarius. Froghoppers feeding on olive and showing active xylem excretion have a mean fpump of 0.7 Hz and a range between 0.1-1.5 Hz, as measured using the electrical penetration graph (EPG) method (Cornara et al., 2018), while a ‘typical’ value of      1.7 Hz was determined by microscopic observation of froghoppers feeding on fava beans (Malone et al., 1999). However, while the xylem tensions of the fava beans were manipulated, Malone et al. (1999) did not report any change associated with this treatment.  Although fpump showed a significant increase with ∆p, the ratio of Q to fpump (i.e., volume per pump) did not. This could indicate that the increase in fpump, although significant, was not particularly large given the variability in Q. Having no significant change in Q or the ratio of Q to fpump, but a significant increase in fpump, suggests that the relationship between these variables is fairly weak. Given that Q did not change with ∆p, according to eq. 14, this can only leave a compensatory increase in P.  36  2.4.4 Metabolic cost of xylem extraction and feeding Increasing xylem tension was associated with a significant increase in the froghoppers’ metabolic cost of feeding (MRcib). This is in line with predictions from eq. 14 assuming constant pump efficiency: an increase in ∆p was not associated with a change in Q, so pump power (P – equivalent to MRcib) must increase. Feeding froghoppers exhibited an average pre-PEG MRcib of 25.6 µW (4.27 µl O2 h-1) and an average post-PEG MRcib of 45.0 µW (7.51 µl O2 h-1), representing a 50-85 % increase in their total metabolic rate compared to their RMR. This increase is considerably larger than that observed in juvenile P. spumarius (1.82 µl O2 h-1) feeding on sheep sorrel (Beckett et al., 2019). The metabolic cost per unit of xylem extracted (MRcib/Q, given in J µl-1) also showed a significant increase with increasing xylem tension, demonstrating that the cost of extracting xylem sap increases as xylem tension increases. These costs are substantial. When the cost of feeding alone (MRcib) is added to the average RMR of 48.7 µW (0.15 µl O2 h-1; Table 2.2), the froghoppers are shown to have a total metabolic rate of 74.3 µW (0.23 µl O2 h-1) before xylem tension manipulation and 93.7 µW (0.28 µl O2 h-1) after. This is a 26 % increase in the insect’s total metabolic rate after the addition of PEG and shows the cost to xylem sap extraction increases as xylem tension increases. This increase in cost is quantified as 0.0046 J µl-1 per MPa increase, from the regression line in Figure 2.14, given as      J µl-1 = 0.0046 MPa – 0.0002. The intercept of this regression line is -0.0002, indicating the cost of extraction to be nearly 0 when ∆p is 0.  The nutritional composition of xylem sap is already known to be low – it is the least nutritional fluid present in plants in terms of its nitrogen and carbon content (Redak et al., 2004). In order to provide sufficient energy to satisfy the immediate metabolic demands of the froghopper – with energy left over for growth and reproduction – the energy gained from 37  ingesting xylem sap must exceed the energy required for extracting and digesting it. Without a net positive energy gain, these insects could not survive on xylem sap alone. One can calculate that a froghopper feeding pre-PEG would need to feed on xylem sap containing at least          0.48 g glucose l-1, assuming that 1 g of glucose yields 15,931 J, the insect’s total feeding MR was     74.3 µW (the sum of pre-PEG MRcib of 25.6 µW and RMR of 48.7 µW), Q was 0.58 µl min-1, and all sugar was extracted. A post-PEG froghopper feeding at even higher xylem tensions would need to imbibe xylem sap containing at least 0.61 g glucose l-1. Published values for xylem sap sugar content tend to be slightly lower than this. For example, the xylem sugar content found in water-stressed poplar stems, 0.5 g glucose l-1 (Secchi and Zwieniecki, 2016), would satisfy almost twice the froghopper’s post-PEG MRcib but only 82 % of a post-PEG froghopper’s total metabolic demands. In comparison, Andersen et al. (1992) calculated that the sharpshooter H. vitripennis achieved a net energy gain from every plant species they fed on. However, this paper was comparing xylem energy intake relative to the cost of xylem extraction only, and not the metabolic rate of the whole feeding insect. In addition, this study only estimated the cost of xylem extraction from first principles, assuming that it was proportional to xylem tension, the resistance to laminar flow through the stylets (calculated using the Hagen-Poiseuille equation), and assuming 50 % efficiency of the pump muscle converting metabolic energy into mechanical work. The validity of this last assumption, the efficiency of the muscle, can be addressed using the data presented here.  For a pump with a known P, Q, and ∆p, it is possible to calculate its efficiency ) by rearranging eq. 14 as:  ) = ∆+×-/  (15) 38  For a biological pump, this inefficiency can be attributed to the muscle powering it. Applying eq. 15 to measurements of MRcib, Q, and xylem tension gives an average of 32.0 ± 13.0 and         31.0 ± 15.7 % efficiency, pre- and post-PEG, respectively (n=6). With minimal change in CDM contraction velocity, as indicated by fpump and Q, the small difference between these values is unsurprising. Figure 2.15 demonstrates a weak, positive relationship between ∆p and ), with the muscle efficiencies calculated with eq. 15 plotted against the measured xylem tensions (MPa) for PEG and non-PEG-manipulated trials. While the measured efficiency of synchronous and asynchronous insect flight muscle has been determined to lie between 10 to 16 % (Ellington, 1985; Josephson et al., 2001), to our knowledge there are no published values for insect skeletal (non-flight) muscle efficiency. However, in vitro estimates of vertebrate locomotory muscle give maximum peak efficiencies of 25 % without pre-stretching the muscle, and up to 50 % if the muscle is pre-stretched (Heglund and Cavagna, 1985). Thus, while the calculated values here are biologically reasonable, the considerable variability in efficiency between individuals would suggest that these values approximate the true efficiency.  2.4.5 Biological pressure probe vs. pressure bomb The calculated cibarial pump tensions obtained using CT and TEM data, appear to align with the xylem tensions that these insects encounter while feeding. Malone et al. (1999) already confirmed that P. spumarius were capable of feeding at the full hydraulic tension that exists in the internal water column of fava beans, up to -1 MPa. Field xylem tensions for eight different plant species that P. spumarius were observed feeding on had xylem tensions ranging from -0.3 to -1.75 MPa, with an average of -0.72 MPa, well within the calculated capabilities of P. spumarius (Fig. 2.16).  39  This data also appears to expand the range of confidence we can have in the accuracy of the pressure bomb method for measuring xylem tension. Direct measurements of xylem tension using an implanted oil-filled pressure probe are limited to < -1 MPa due to cavitation issues, making it difficult to verify the existence of high xylem tensions except indirectly using the pressure bomb method. As P. spumarius has evolved the capacity to exert tensions up to approximately -1.5 MPa, they are clearly feeding on xylem tensions approaching this value, and can do so without causing the xylem sap to cavitate. This indicates that plants truly do have xylem tensions higher than can be measured directly using a pressure probe, and that the tensions recorded using the pressure bomb are reliable. Taken together, tensions obtained energetically, morphologically, and phytologically indicate that P. spumarius can feed from xylem tensions higher than previously believed.  2.4.6 Implications for other xylem feeders Adult P. spumarius were observed feeding on plants with xylem tensions up to -1.5 MPa, widening the range that Malone et al. (1999) observed for successful feeding at tensions upwards of -1 MPa. Tensions greater than -1.5 MPa appeared to hinder the froghopper’s ability to feed, with the expulsion of droplets ceasing. The forces that P. spumarius has been shown to be capable of producing are likely similar for other xylem-feeding insects, and they likely exhibit similar feeding behaviours and mechanisms in response to increases in xylem tension. The metabolic cost of this activity, however, suggests that xylem may contain a slightly higher concentration of sugars than most reported values, and that as xylem tension increases, the net energy gain will eventually become negative. However, it seems likely that this must occur at 40  xylem tensions that exceed the capacity of the insect’s cibarial pump, as the insects are unlikely to have evolved the ability to feed at xylem tensions that result in net energy loss.   41  Table 2.1. Mean xylem tensions of non-PEG-manipulated plants.   Plant Species Growth medium Mean xylem tension (MPa) Pisum sativum (shelling pea, var. Green Arrow) Soil -0.5 ± 0.15 (n=8) Hydroponic -0.46 ± 0.17 (n=7) Vicia faba (Sutton dwarf broad bean) Soil -0.67 ± 0.21 (n=9) Hydroponic -0.76 ± 0.29 (n=3) Medicago sativa (alfalfa) Soil -0.59 ± 0.06 (n=3) Hydroponic -0.54 ± 0.10 (n=2)     42  Table 2.2. Resting metabolic rate (RMR) of individual froghoppers used in experiments.  Individual Insect mass (mg) RMR (µW) A 10.23 37.0 B 10.55 58.3 C 12.11 32.0 D 8.96 41.0 F 12.72 33.8 G 13.51 63.3 I 14.57 128.8 J 15.17 49.6 M 16.64 39.7 N 13.04 65.5 O 11.81 44.9 R 8.62 19.0 S 11.20 19.6 Mean 12.24 ± 2.38 48.7 ± 28.2  Mean values given ± SD.                                 43  Table 2.3. Individual and mean pumping frequency (fpump) of PEG-manipulated trials.   Bug ID Pre-PEG mean fpump (Hz) Post-PEG mean fpump (Hz) A 0.82 0.85 B 1.32 1.19 C 0.81 0.65 D 0.64 0.79 E 0.92 1.10 F 0.89 1.04 H 1.21 1.29 J 0.77 1.13 K 0.80 0.50 L 0.72 1.24 Grand Mean 0.89 ± 0.21 0.98 ± 0.27  Grand mean values given ± SD.                                    44  Table 2.4. Individual and mean excretion rate (Q) of PEG-manipulated trials.  Bug ID Pre-PEG Q (µl min-1) Post-PEG Q (µl min-1) A 0.61 0.59 B 0.92 0.73 C 0.46 0.57 D 0.31 0.33 E 0.58 0.72 F 0.64 0.75 G 0.27 0.19 H 0.81 1.05 Mean 0.58 ± 0.23 0.62 ± 0.27  Mean values given ± SD.                                      45  Table 2.5. Individual and mean cibarial metabolic rate (MRcib) of PEG-manipulated trials.   Bug ID Pre-PEG MRcib (µW) Post-PEG MRcib (µW) A 20.2 25.9 B 14.9 25.7 C 42.1 58.2 D 10.6 23.2 F 19.4 32.9 G 23.7 29.4 I 39.3 103.9 J 38.9 60.7 Mean 25.6 ± 12.4 45.0 ± 28.0  Mean values given ± SD.                                 46  Table 2.6. Results of linear mixed-effects models to identify which parameters differed significantly with increases in xylem tension.    Dependent Variable:    fpump (Hz) Q (!l/min) MRcib (!W) MRcib / Q (J/!l) Q / fpump (!l/pump)  (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Intercept 0.742* 0.524* 10.349 0.002 0.011*  (0.087) (0.105) (6.233) (0.001) (0.001) Measured Xylem Tension -0.255* -0.101 -27.186* -0.003* -0.0002  (0.069) (0.077) (4.666) (0.001) (0.001) Groups 10 8 8 6 7 Observations 118 90 123 75 79 df 107 81 114 68 71 Log Likelihood 27.530 29.422 -471.030 326.753 353.223 Akaike Inf. Crit. -47.061 -50.845 950.059 -645.506 -698.446 Bayesian Inf. Crit. -36.046 -40.935 961.209 -636.344 -689.070 Note:     *p<0.05           47  Table 2.7. Data acquired from TEM.  Individual Average sarcomere length (µm) Average mitochondria / myofibrillar ratio Estimated specific tension (kN m-2) 1  27:59  2 4.9 (n=180)  290 4  20:67  5 5.0 (n=91)  300 Grand Mean 5.0 ± 0.3 23:63 300  Grand mean values given ± SD.      48  Table 2.8. Data acquired from micro-CT scans and reconstructions.  Individual Body mass (mg) Cibarium volume (nl) Simple pennation angle estimate (deg) Angle between vectors (deg) Total muscle physiological cross-sectional area (mm2) CSAcib (mm2) FCDM (mN) FCibD (mN) Maximum cibarial tension (MPa) 1 8.57 25.346 34.35 30.830 0.67139 0.13526 199.54 171.34 -1.2668 2 7.72 11.821 37.64 38.532 0.49428 0.10820 146.90 114.91 -1.0620 3  19.337 33.77 40.989 0.90533 0.16055 269.06 203.10 -1.2650 4 10.08 6.900 33.42 30.512 0.59831 0.09755 177.82 153.19 -1.5704 Mean 8.79 ± 1.20 15.851 ± 8.138 34.80 ± 1.94 35.216 ± 5.344 0.66733 ± 0.17452 0.12539 ± 0.02831 198.33 ± 51.86 160.64 ± 36.81 -1.2911 ± 0.2096  Mean values given ± SD.49   Figure 2.1. Conductive tissue of vascular plants. A visual comparison of the two conductive tissues – xylem and phloem – and the pathways by which water, nutrients, ions, and other molecules move throughout the plant.           50   Figure 2.2. Schematic of Scholander-Hammel pressure bomb. Illustration showing the basic set-up of the pressure bomb used for measuring xylem tension.  51   52  Figure 2.3. Cibarial anatomy in 3D reconstructions of adult Philaenus spumarius. From left to right, Panel A gives an anterior, lateral, and dorsal view, respectively, of the insect head. Panel B shows the pathway for xylem flow through the insect’s mouthparts and cibarium; xylem sap is drawn up through the stylets (1), through the proboscis (2), and into the cibarium (3), before continuing to the pharynx (4). The cibarial dilator muscle (CDM; 5) fans out from the apodeme located on the dorsal side of the cibarial pump (3). Panel C gives a dorsal view of the head with the postclypeus anterior and the mouthparts posterior, while Panel D gives a lateral view of the head with the postclypeus anterior and the mouthparts posterior; CDM is indicated in purple, the green tissue is apodeme (abbreviated apo), and the yellow tissue is the cibarium (abbreviated cib). Panel D and E give two views of the angle estimate of the muscle contraction and apodeme movement vectors; the apodeme movement vector (!⃗) is parallel with the apodeme and the muscle contraction vector (#$⃗ ) is parallel with the muscle fibres; the angle between these vectors give the pennation angle θ. Panels F and G show the internal cibarial anatomy in isolation.          53   Figure 2.4. Cross-sectional areas of cibarial anatomy. Panel A gives an approximation of the physiological cross-sectional area of the CDM. Panel B gives an approximation of the cibarial diaphragm cross-sectional area. 54    Figure 2.5. Direction of air flow in respirometry set-up. The movement of air throughout the system is indicated with arrows that correspond with air that is dry or humidified, and the presence or absence of CO2. More detail on this set-up is provided in the methods section.55  Figure 2.6. Schematic of the respirometry chamber. (A) shows how the respirometry chamber (1) clamped around the plant stem, with a white 5 mm LED light shining on the feeding froghopper. Panel B shows the front of the chamber with a small section (2) for viewing the insect while it is feeding, a magnet (3) for joining the large door to the chamber, and a small arm (4) to allow the chamber to be clamped to a stand. Panel C shows the side door with notches (5) at the top and bottom that clamp around the plant stem, holding it in place. From the top view (panel D), two small pieces of hypodermic tubing (6) can be seen on the backside of the chamber, used to connect the chamber to the rest of the respirometry set-up via tubing. This view also shows the area (7) containing the feeding froghopper. 56   Figure 2.7. Section of pea stem with froghopper stylets inserted into xylem. The vascular bundles are circled in red and are composed of both phloem sieve tubes and xylem vessels. The insect’s stylets, surrounded by the salivary sheath, can be seen piercing through the plant epidermis into xylem vessels.            57   Figure 2.8. Effect of xylem tension on pumping frequency (fpump). Results are from a linear mixed-effect model with individual froghopper as the random effect; individuals are labeled with their unique letters. The regression lines indicate how fpump changes from the pre-PEG xylem tension to the post-PEG xylem tension. 58   Figure 2.9. Effect of xylem tension on excretion rate (Q). Results are from a linear mixed-effect model with individual froghopper as the random effect; individuals are labeled with their unique letters. The regression lines indicate how Q changes from the pre-PEG xylem tension to the post-PEG xylem tension. 59   Figure 2.10. Effect of xylem tension on cibarial metabolic rate (MRcib). Results are from a linear mixed-effect model with individual froghopper as the random effect; individuals are labeled with their unique letters. The regression lines indicate how MRcib changes from the pre-PEG xylem tension to the post-PEG xylem tension. 60   Figure 2.11. Effect of xylem tension on the ratio of excretion rate (Q) to pumping frequency (fpump). Results are from a linear mixed-effect model with individual froghopper as the random effect; individuals are labeled with their unique letters. The regression lines indicate how this ratio changes from the pre-PEG xylem tension to the post-PEG xylem tension.  61   Figure 2.12. Effect of xylem tension on the ratio of cibarial metabolic rate (MRcib) to excretion rate (Q). Results are from a linear mixed-effect model with individual froghopper as the random effect; individuals are labeled with their unique letters. The regression lines indicate how this ratio changes from the pre-PEG xylem tension to the post-PEG xylem tension. 62   Figure 2.13. TEM muscle sections. Perpendicular (panel A) and parallel (panel B) muscle sections obtained with TEM. Panel A shows the mitochondria interspersed with the muscle tissue; scale bar, 2µm. Panel B shows the z lines and sarcomeres for individual muscle fibres; sarcomere length is indicated with a dashed line; scale bar, 2µm. Abbreviations: mt, mitochondrion; my, myofibril; z, z line.     63   Figure 2.14. Changes in the ratio of cibarial metabolic rate (MRcib) to excretion rate (Q) with increases in xylem tension. Measured xylem tensions plotted against the energy used to extract a unit of xylem sap for PEG- and non-PEG-manipulated trials. 64    Figure 2.15. Relationship between xylem tension and percent muscle efficiency. Measured xylem tensions plotted against the average percent muscle efficiencies calculated from eq. 15 for pre- and post-PEG-manipulated (green) and non-PEG-manipulated trials (blue).        65   Figure 2.16. Field xylem tensions. Measured xylem tensions for the 8 different plant species P. spumarius individuals were observed feeding on in the field. Xylem tensions are colour-coded by the ambient temperature recorded at the time of measurement. The black dashed line indicates the mean calculated cibarial tension (-1.29 MPa) from the morphological measurements and the grey dashed lines indicate the minimum and maximum calculated cibarial tensions.  66  Chapter 3: Conclusions  3.1 General conclusions Phytophagous insects have evolved to feed on every part of a plant, including an entire subset of insects that have adapted to feed on arguably one of the hardest-to-extract components of a plant: xylem sap. How these xylophagous insects accomplish this feat has been the subject of much speculation, but the absence of many experimental studies into the mechanisms and energetics of xylem feeding, significant gaps in our understanding of this activity have remained. This thesis investigated the biomechanics and energetics that characterize the xylem feeding of the meadow spittlebug P. spumarius and provided insight into the feeding abilities of P. spumarius froghoppers, as well as the metabolic cost that accompanies feeding from xylem.  3.2 Biomechanics The most current interest on the morphology of the cibarial anatomy of P. spumarius is focused on these froghoppers as vectors of X. fastidiosa. One of the few comprehensive studies on the xylem-feeding abilities of P. spumarius froghoppers showed that these insects were able to feed on bean plants which had been exposed to an osmotic challenge to produce a measured xylem tension of -1 MPa. They concluded that the froghoppers were feeding from the full hydraulic tension that exists in plants, but did not present any morphological or energetic analysis to confirm this (Malone et al., 1999). Biomechanical studies, on the other hand, are very limited with regards to this species, or any other xylophagous insect. Previous studies have looked at the limitations for xylophages, specifically at what tensions they stop feeding, but none have actually applied biomechanical principles to what exists internally in the heads of xylem 67  feeders in order to calculate what tensions they are physically capable of sucking against. Micro-CT scans have given us a detailed look at the cibarial anatomy of P. spumarius froghoppers, and my findings suggest the ability of this species to feed from plants with xylem tensions up to approximately -1.5 MPa, which is well above the routine xylem tensions these froghoppers are expected to encounter in the field. This not only shows P. spumarius froghoppers to be biomechanically capable of feeding from high-tension xylem sap, but also expands on the previous range of xylem tensions that these insects can successfully feed on. In the haematophagous R. prolixus, it was proposed that the pump needs to be able to generate suction somewhere between -2-9 atm (roughly -0.2-0.9 MPa) for feeding to occur, while for other xylem feeders, it was thought that the pump needed to generate a suction of about -1MPa, though they expected xylophages to only be capable of generating suctions on the order of -0.1MPa   (Bennet-Clark, 1963; Kim, 2013; Raven, 1983). The cibarial tensions I have calculated here have shown otherwise. This explains why froghoppers do not appear to be hindered by increases in xylem tension as seen in other studies (Andersen et al., 1992; Malone et al., 1999; Mittler, 1967). This also refutes the possibility that xylem tensions are not as high as previously thought (Balling and Zimmermann, 1990; Mittler, 1967). In this study, I have filled in some of the missing information regarding the xylem-feeding capabilities of P. spumarius. There are also many gaps that exist in the literature with regards to the different aspects of the CDM that powers xylem feeding of P. spumarius froghoppers, such as its efficiency, sarcomere length, specific tension, and the mitochondria:myofibrillar ratio. While such values exist for many species, I quantified these values for the first time for P. spumarius and compared these values with those seen in other insects. The cibarial anatomy works by means of a high force that is generated by the bipennate CDM, which is exerted across the piston, and in turn, this 68  force is converted into a high tension that allows xylem sap to be sucked up. Ultimately, the force, speed, and power generated by skeletal muscle are limited by the mechanics of the muscle’s myofibrils (Azizi et al., 2008). As a result, the maximum xylem tension that these froghoppers can feed from is equivalent to the maximum force that the muscles can exert on the cibarial diaphragm, divided by the area of the diaphragm (Raven, 1983). Having a muscle physiological cross-sectional area that is greater than that of the cibarium by more than 5 to 1 allows for the tension created at the piston to be magnified (Raven, 1983). With feeding driven by a bipennate muscle, this allows for more fibres to be packed into the same volume, resulting in a greater force per unit volume than could be generated by a parallel-fibered muscle (Azizi et al., 2008). The trade-off with this is that not all of the force of the individual fibres contributes to the total force of the muscle, only the component of force parallel to the direction of the muscle’s movement. As a result, the pennation angle of these fibres is important to consider, with the angle increasing as the muscle contracts and fibres shorten. This presents another trade-off, with increasing angles resulting in a higher velocity but a lower force. The pennation angle of the CDM fibres are relatively low in P. spumarius, which makes sense for this muscle to be adapted for force. This also aligns with pennate muscles having more sarcomeres in parallel, rather than series, which increases the physiological cross-sectional area and subsequently increases the force that can be generated (Eng et al., 2018; Powell et al., 1984). In addition, the considerable length of the sarcomeres found in P. spumarius are indicative of skeletal muscle adapted for slow contraction and high specific tension. The arrangement of the muscle, as well as its structure, have shown P. spumarius to be capable of successfully feeding from the high-tension xylem sap of plants. 69  One question that continues to be passed down from studies about xylem feeders is the ability for these insects to feed without causing cavitation to occur, and this study is no exception. In other fluid-feeding Hemipterans such as R. prolixus, it has been suggested that the high tensile strength of blood and a low contact angle between the pump walls and blood prevent cavitation from occurring within the insect’s pump (Bennet-Clark, 1963). Within the host itself, saliva secretion has also been suggested as playing a role in preventing embolisms from forming (Crews et al., 1998). The surface tension properties of water certainly play a role, and it is possible that some combination of these three variables are responsible for the lack of cavitation that occurs with xylem feeding. These results are the first to quantify xylem tensions in situ using an insect as a biological pressure probe to get direct estimates of the tensions that exist within the water-conducting tissue of plants. Using morphometry and biomechanical principles, I was able to calculate the maximum tensions froghoppers can generate with their cibarial anatomy in order to feed from xylem, and subsequently, establish the theoretical xylem tensions limit at which these froghoppers can feed.  3.3 Energetics While the mechanics behind the feeding activity of P. spumarius were not previously well known, the physics of pumping liquids is well understood, and the knowledge about both provides a simple framework in which to understand the energetics of xylem feeding in P. spumarius. From previous studies on xylem feeding, we know the range of values to expect for specific feeding parameters of P. spumarius, including fpump and Q. While Q values have been shown to not greatly increase with increases in xylem tension (Horsfield, 1978; Malone et al., 70  1999), in this thesis I determined that fpump did increase slightly, but with frequencies still well within the range of those found in previous studies for P. spumarius (Cornara et al., 2018). Metabolic data on this species’ feeding activity is limited to a single previous study on the nymphs of P. spumarius, which exhibited a smaller increase in metabolic rate than the adults of this species (Beckett et al., 2019). The results presented in this thesis indicate xylem feeding is costly and, according to physical principles, the metabolic cost increases with increases in xylem tension. It comes as no surprise that energy must be expended for xylem sap to be extracted against a large pressure gradient. A few studies have found a net positive energy gain in insects feeding exclusively on xylem, as one would expect given the continued existence of xylem-feeding insects (Andersen et al., 1992; Beckett et al., 2019). However, the values needed to have a net positive energy gain in adult P. spumarius suggest xylem to have a higher sugar content than previously published values (Secchi and Zwieniecki, 2016). This leads to another question that arose from my study: what is the true sugar content of xylem sap? A study by Andersen et al. (1989) measured total sugar concentration to be               < 0.1 mM in the xylem sap of four examined host plants of H. vitripennis. They found that the total xylem sugars were metabolized with > 99 % efficiency and that these sharpshooters had positive potential energy gains (Andersen et al., 1992). The drawback to this study is that they were comparing this net gain with the energy spent only for feeding rather than the insect’s total metabolic rate. The discrepancy between the proposed sugar content of xylem sap needed to satisfy P. spumarius and those stated in other studies may arise from the plant species looked at, which may not necessarily be representative of the host plants of each insect. Published values of xylem sap sugar content appear limited to trees (Raven, 1983; Secchi and Zwieniecki, 2016), and it would be expected that this would differ from the host plants of P. spumarius which are 71  generally herbaceous. One study proposed xylem sap to be more concentrated when it is at a greater tension (Press and Whittaker, 1993), potentially explaining why xylophagous insects feed the fastest at midday when xylem tensions are usually at their highest (Andersen et al., 1992), potentially to accumulate as much sugar as possible. Another possibility is based on an observation by Andersen et al. (1992) that the gross energy content of xylem sap was higher at midday, when xylem tension was also at its highest. A similar finding was observed in M. sativa plants by Schubert et al. (1995), where soluble sugar concentration increased in the shoots of water-stressed plants. These findings, coupled with the observation of consistently high Q values at midday, might correspond with xylem sap having a higher sugar content under such conditions as a response to increased water stress. Secchi and Zwieniecki (2016) found that water-stressed plants subjected to embolisms or stomatal closure would accumulate sugars in the xylem to restore xylem function. The presence of sugar is not the only important component of the xylem sap; about 98 % of the organic nutrients present are amino acids and amides, all of which P. spumarius are capable of absorbing (Wiegert, 1964a). It would appear that the energy these froghoppers lack in sugars is made up for in amino acids, and with values of 0.01-0.04 J µl-1 of xylem sap (0.7-2.1 mg ml-1 of organic matter in xylem sap; Wiegert, 1964b), this would satisfy 158-515 % of the insect’s total metabolic needs. Even though it is clear that the sugar content of xylem sap has to be enough to support obligate xylem-feeding insects, it does not compare to the sugar found in phloem sap, so why would an evolutionary transition from phloem feeders to xylem feeders occur in the first place? Xylem-feeding originated in Auchenorrhyncha, a suborder of Hemiptera (Bell-Roberts et al., 2019). While transitions have occurred from xylem-feeding to phloem-feeding, which has interestingly corresponded with the loss of the bacterial symbiont Sulcia, the reverse has not 72  occurred (Bell-Roberts et al., 2019). But in order to feed from xylem, xylophages must actively push their stylets past phloem in order to access a less-nutritional food source. One potential explanation for this is the idea of niche partitioning. By evolving the capability of feeding from a hard-to-access, non-nutritious food source by the process of mechanical probing (Fitter and Hay, 1987), xylophages would be eliminating competition with other insects seeking out phloem.   3.4 Significance and implications Overall, the results of this study have confirmed previous phytological findings and provided novel zoological findings. The novel approach of using of two different methods – morphometric and metabolic – to measure xylem tensions in situ have validated the readings given by the pressure bomb for the range of tensions that were tested. This shows xylem tensions to truly be as high as have long been believed. P. spumarius froghoppers have successfully conquered the unique niche of feeding solely on xylem sap by using brute force to accomplish the same effect that plants achieve with a difference in water potential. The metabolic results demonstrate xylem-feeding to be a costly activity, but the morphological results verify that P. spumarius has the machinery to accomplish this feat. These froghoppers appear to not merely survive but thrive on it despite the many difficulties associated with feeding on xylem. The findings of this study, which have demonstrated the remarkable biomechanical and physiological adaptations that P. spumarius froghoppers have to drink xylem sap, are indicative of similar arrangements and structures of the cibarial anatomy as well as similar feeding behaviours, not only in the nymphal life stages of this species, but in other xylem-feeding insects as well.   73  3.5 Limitations and future directions While this study has looked at the biomechanics and energetics of xylem-feeding in P. spumarius, it was limited in looking only at the adults of this species. A replication of this study on the nymphs of P. spumarius could prove interesting in not only demonstrating how the juveniles of this species achieve the same feeding abilities as the adults, but how these abilities change across ontogeny, from the nymph to adult stage. This study is also limited in that it focuses on only one xylem-feeding insect species, though many others exist. A comparative study between P. spumarius and other xylophages, particularly those feeding on plant species that may experience particularly high xylem tensions (trees, desert plants, mistletoes, etc.) would reveal how well these morphometric and metabolic findings are conserved across different species. My results have left us with some lingering questions, including: (1) what the true content of sugar is in xylem sap, (2) how these froghoppers feed from xylem without inducing cavitation in the plant or within the froghopper’s cibarial anatomy, (3) why such a costly feeding strategy evolved in the first place, and (4) how xylophages locate xylem when piercing plant tissue. The research I have presented here contributes greatly to our understanding of P. spumarius and other xylem-feeders. 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