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Volume 33, Number 1, January-February 2002
Page(s) 33 - 40

Apidologie 33 (2002) 33-40
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2001003

Selective blocking of contact chemosensilla in Apis mellifera

Claudia Groh, Axel Brockmann, Monika Altwein and Jürgen Tautz

Lehrstuhl für Tierphysiologie und Soziobiologie, Universität Würzburg, Zoologie II, Biozentrum, Am Hubland, 97074 Würzburg, Germany

(Received 18 April 2001; revised 9 October 2001; accepted 15 October 2001)

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of ZnSO 4 on the function of contact chemosensitive and olfactory sensilla of the worker honeybee antennae. The effect of ZnSO 4 on contact chemosensitive sensilla was tested behaviorally using the proboscis extension response and that on olfactory sensilla using electroantennogram recordings. We showed that antennal ZnSO 4-treatment significantly reduced the sugar-elicited proboscis extension response but did not reduce olfactory evoked electroantennogram responses. Both results indicate that ZnSO 4 selectively blocks contact-chemosensory and not olfactory perception. We suggest that ZnSO 4 ablation will be a powerful tool to investigate the role of contact chemosensory and olfactory sensilla in short range communication within the honeybee colony.

Key words: honeybee / olfaction / contact chemoreception / PER / EAG

Correspondence and reprints: Axel Brockmann

© INRA, EDP Sciences, DIB, AGIB 2002