ABSTRACT. Workers of Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides (Lepeletier, 1836) develop their ovaries and lay eggs, therefore the production of vitellogenin is expected. In electrophoretic profiles only fat body extracts from nurse workers and ovary extracts from newly-emerged workers show protein with molecular mass similar to vitellogenin. However, an increase in the protein content was detected in forager fat body. This increase was attributed to storage of vitellogenin or other proteins in the previous phase and not discharged into the hemolymph or to an effect of the increased titre of juvenile hormone in this phase of worker life over the fat body functioning.
Vitellogenin (Vg) is an egg yolk protein that is produced primarily in the fat body of most female insects. In the advanced social structure of eusocial honeybees, the presence of the queen inhibits egg maturation in the workers’ ovaries. However in the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata, the workers always develop ovaries and lay a certain amount of eggs while provisioning the brood cells with larval food during what is known as the worker nurse phase. The present work is a comparative study of the presence of Vg in homogenates of the fat bodies and ovaries of the nurse workers, and the virgin and physogastric queens of M. quadrifasciata. The presence of Vg was determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and immunoblotting using Apis mellifera anti‐egg antibody. Vg was not detected in the fat bodies or ovaries of the workers, but it was found in the ovaries of virgin and physogastric queens and in the fat body of physogastric queens. The results are discussed, taking into account the reproductive state of the individuals and the other possible roles of Vg, such as a storage protein for metoabolism of other organs.
The developmental degree of the wax glands was compared in four Meliponini bees, that produce different quantities of wax. The histological data and height average of the wax epithelium during the time in which the maximum production of wax is expected, are in accordance with the rates of wax produced by the species. In Lestrimelitta limao (Smith, 1863) a species which has cleptobiotic habits, and frequently rob wax from the attacked colonies, the height of wax epithelium was the lowest among the studied species. The cells seem to show an abnormal vacuolated cytoplasm, in the phase in which they would be producing wax
ABSTRACT. Occurrence and morphology of tegumentary abdominal glands in Melissoptila richardiae (Bertoni & Scrottky) (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Eucerini). The occurrence and morphology of abdominal tegumentary glands were studied in Melissoptila richardiae. The results showed the existence of class III glandular cells that may appear as isolated units in tergites and sternites III and IV or forming clustered cells in both side of the tergites III and IV. In this late case the secretion is released in reservoirs derived from the tergite intersegmental membranes. The results suggest that this last gland products are lipidic and probably volatile.
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