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Volume 31, Number 6, November/December 2000
Page(s) 679 - 687
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2000152

Apidologie 31 (2000) 679-687

Electrophoretic study of water-soluble proteins during the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) ontogenesis.

Evgenia Ivanova - Petar Popov - Ivan Dobrovolov

Paissij-Hilendarski-Universität Plovdiv, Biologische Fakultät, Sektion Genetik. Zar Assenstr. 24, Plovdiv, Bulgarien

(Received 30 October 1999; revised 15 March 2000; accepted 20 July 2000)


Two thousand specimens of Apis mellifera L. from three domesticated populations in Bulgaria were investigated by means of polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE), starch gel electrophoresis (SGE) and isoelectric focusing in ultra-thin poyacrylamide gel. Specimens of different developmental stages and sexes were compared: unsealed and sealed larvae, white-eyed and dark-eyed pupae, and imago forms (7-day worker bees, 10-day drones, and one-day queen). All samples were total extracts of individuals, except the egg samples which were made up of 20 eggs. PAGE was performed according to Maurer [18]. SGE was performed according to Smithies [28] as modified by Dobrovolov [3]. The soluble proteins were visualised with Commassie Brilliant Blue R250. A total of 24 fractions of water-soluble proteins were found in the spectra of analyzed organs in PAGE: 10 in eggs, 17 in unsealed larvae, 18 in sealed larvae, 14 in pupae, 18 in workers and drones and 19 in queens (Tab. I, Fig. 1). In SGE 20 fractions were found: 8 in unsealed larvae, 11 in sealed larvae, 10 in pupae, 9 in workers, 11 in drones and 12 in queens (Tab. II, Fig. 2). With isoelectric focusing 31 fractions were found in eggs, 50 in unsealed and sealed larvae, 48 in pupae, 52 in workers and 48 in drones (Fig. 3). After separation in starch gel we found 2 queen specific and 2 drone specific bands. With PAGE, more bands were obtained but only one sex specific band (M) could be found. The best separation with up to 52 fractions was obtained by isoelectric focusing. There was 1 band at the anode and 2 bands at the cathode which occurred only in drones. With both SGE and PAGE we found protein bands which occurred during the larval and pupal but not in the adult stages (SQ and SH - F, L, W and Y respectively) which may point to specific larval proteins.

Keywords: Apis mellifera / ontogenesis / water-soluble proteins

Correspondence and reprints: Evgenia Ivanova

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