Free Access
Volume 38, Number 1, January-February 2007
Page(s) 1 - 11
Published online 29 November 2006
Apidologie 38 (2007) 1-11
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2006045

Protein profiles of testes, seminal vesicles and accessory glands of honey bee pupae and their relation to the ecdysteroid titer

Sibele de Oliveira Tozetto, Márcia Maria Gentile Bitondi, Rodrigo Pires Dallacqua and Zilá Luz Paulino Simões

Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Departamento de Biologia, Av. Bandeirantes 3900, 14040-901, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brasil

(Received 30 June 2005 - Revised 6 February 2006 - Accepted 20 February 2006 - Published online 29 November 2006)

Abstract - Protein content and pattern were determined for testes, seminal vesicles and accessory glands of drone pupae and compared to the ecdysteroid titer in hemolymph. In testes of young pupae, the protein titer increases in parallel with increasing ecdysteroid levels, but maximal protein titers are reached in late pupae, after the hormone titer has dropped. Protein titer then decreases at the end of pupal stage, coinciding with the time reported for spermatozoa migration to seminal vesicles and onset of testes degeneration. In seminal vesicles and accessory glands, the protein titer increases continuously during pupal stages, the maximal titer coinciding with low ecdysteroid levels in late pupae. Two new polypeptides appeared in accessory glands of late pupae, when the ecdysteroid level was low, and were not detected in ecdysteroid-treated pupae, thus indicating that some of the final steps of differentiation of the drone reproductive system are negatively regulated by ecdysteroids.

Key words: Apis mellifera / drone reproductive system / testes / seminal vesicles / accessory glands / ecdysteroids

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© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2007