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J Insect Physiol. 1999 Jul;45(7):637-646.

Juvenile hormone titers in virgin and mated Choristoneura fumiferana and C. rosaceana females: assessment of the capacity of males to produce and transfer JH to the female during copulation.

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  • 1Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Laurentian Forestry Centre, 1055 du PEPS, P.O. Box 3800, Sainte-Foy, Canada


We used a radioimmunoassay (RIA) to assess the effect of mating on juvenile hormone (JH) titer in females of the tortricid moths Choristoneura fumiferana and C. rosaceana. Virgins had undetectable levels of JH in their hemolymph on the 5th day of the pupal stage but titers rose to 1-4 and 0.2-0.5 ng JH II eq./ml, respectively, after emergence. On days 1, 3 and 5 following copulation, females of both species had higher JH titers than virgins of the same ages, with the greatest difference between virgin and mated females observed on day 3 for C. fumiferana and on day 5 for C. rosaceana. This increase was apparently not the result of a male-to-female transfer of JH during copulation since: (i) the accessory sex glands (ASGs) of males of both species displayed a very limited ability to convert JH acid into JH, (ii) ASGs produced no JH when incubated in vitro in the presence of L-[methyl-(3)H]-methionine, (iii) ASGs of males injected with L-[methyl-(3)H]-methionine 24 h prior to dissection contained no JH-associated radioactivity, and (iv) freshly formed spermatophores dissected out of females mated to similarly injected males contained no trace of radioactive JH. In addition, the JH content of ASGs and spermatophores, as measured by RIA, was not higher than that of virgin-female hemolymph, on a per-mg basis. However, in contrast with earlier findings in other species of moths, the CA of male C. fumiferana and C. rosaceana maintained in vitro in the presence of tritiated methionine produced and released JH I, JH II and JH III in quantities and proportions similar to those reported for female glands.

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