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J Insect Physiol. 2000 Jan;46(1):41-46.

Responsiveness of honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) corpora allata to allatoregulatory peptides from four insect species.

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  • 1Bee Research Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Bldg. 476, BARC-East, Beltsville, MD, USA


Five neuropeptides with known allatotropic or allatostatic activity in other insect species were examined for their effects on honey bee corpora allata. Using an in vitro radiochemical assay, we assessed the ability of these peptides to affect the biosynthesis of juvenile hormone III and its immediate precursor methyl farnesoate, as well as their effects on the conversion of methyl farnesoate into juvenile hormone. None of the allatostatins tested affected JH biosynthesis during the last larval instar of honey bee workers. Manduca sexta allatotropin, however, stimulated JH biosynthesis in a stage-specific and dose-dependent manner. Analysis of intraglandular contents of juvenile hormone and its precursor revealed that the allatotropin significantly increased JH precursor but did not overcome the stage-specific block in the terminal step of JH biosynthesis that is typical for early fifth-instar worker larvae. Studies also indicated that the allatotropic effect was reversible at the level of methyl farnesoate production.

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