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  • Author or Editor: Carminda da Cruz-Landim x
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Abstract

In insects the antennal lobes (AL) constitute the brain deutocerebrum. In bees they consist of two neuropil regions, each associated with one antenna, delimited by a layer of glial cells and somata of neurons. The neuropil is organized in distinct globular structures of dense synaptic axons coming from the olfactory organs of the antennae, known as glomeruli. In Apis mellifera, as in other eusocial species of bees, queens, workers, and drones perform different functions in the colony and consequently the organs associated with these functions undergo a differential development. In this paper we analyzed the structure and size of the differentiating AL of queens, workers, and drones during metamorphosis using light microscopy. During metamorphosis the neuropil enlarge and differentiates into concentric structures known as glomeruli. The results showed size, structural and temporal differences in the glomeruli development among the classes of individuals of the colony. The neuropil differentiation starts early and is faster in drones and newly emerged worker is the colony individual class with greater neuropil area in AL. These results are discussed taking in account the functions of the individuals in the colony.

In: Animal Biology

Abstract

Eusocial bees present a pair of functional salivary glands in head, the cephalic salivary glands. These glands from workers and queens of two eusocial bee species, Apis mellifera and Scaptotrigona postica, were examined at different life stages using routine transmission electron microscopy techniques to correlate morphology and gland functions. Ultrastructural features of worker and queen glands ducts and secretory units were descriptively compared between species. The duct cells present basal plasma membrane invaginations reaching the apical region. Intercellular space and invaginations contain material of similar electron-density to the basal lamina, suggesting that substances might be directly absorbed from the hemolymph to the gland lumen. The secretory cells are rich in smooth endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, Golgi, and vesicles typical of lipid secretion. Secretory cells in S. postica become flattened with age in contrast to A. mellifera, where cells remained cuboidal. Mitochondria are associated with secretory vesicles and may become lipid deposits. A possible role of worker and queen secretion is discussed, taking changes in caste gland morphology and their function in the colony into account.

In: Animal Biology