Concentration of hemolymph proteins during postembryonic worker development of Africanized honey bees in Brazil and Carniolans in EuropeE. Michelettea, b and W. Engelsa
a Department of Developmental Biology, Zoological Institute, University of Tübingen, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany
b Department of Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo, 14.040-901 Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil
Abstract - The profiles of hemolymph protein content during postembryonic development of honey bees (Apis mellifera) were determined for the first time. Larval and pupal worker stages of Africanized honey bees in Brazil and Carniolans in Germany were studied. A rapid increase in protein concentration was found in the late larval stages, followed by a decrease in prepupae and a minimum amount near the pupal moult period. In the early pupal stages, the protein concentration increased again, and then decreased until adult eclosion. Only the first protein peak in spinning L5 was more pronounced in the Africanized honey bees. No differences between the hemolymph protein profiles of Africanized bees and Carniolans could be detected during pupal development. The duration of several larval and pupal stages was shorter in Africanized than in Carniolan workers. The data reflect the general characteristics of the Africanized biotype reared in tropical conditions exhibiting accelerated patterns of development and lower body weight at emergence in comparison to the European Apis subspecies reared in temperate conditions. The ontogenetic patterns described for hemolymph protein concentration in preimaginal honey bee development are also discussed, specifically in regard to the regulation of metamorphosis in holometabolous insects.
Key words: hemolymph / protein concentration / postembryonic development / Apis mellifera carnica / Africanized honey bee