Atypical vitellins in ponerine ants (Formicidae: Hymenoptera)

Diana E Wheeler, Jürgen Liebig, Bert Hölldobler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Higher hymenopteran vitellogenin/vitellins have been characterized as containing one large apoprotein. We show that in the ant subfamily Ponerinae, species in the tribes Odontomachini, Platythyrini, and Amblyoponini, also have a vitellin with this simple structure, containing a single apoprotein of 180-190 kDa. Species in tribes Ponerini and Ectatommini, however, have vitellins containing multiple subunits. The size and number of the subunits varies, with differences even among species within the same genus. This is the first report of diversity in vitellogenin structure in the higher Hymenoptera. Vitellin and vitellogenin in Harpegnathos saltator (Ponerini) contain two large subunits of about 165 kDa and two small subunits of about 45 and 43 kDa. N-terminal sequence analysis suggests that provitellogenin is cleaved at two different sites, producing two large and two small subunits differing slightly in size. Diversity of vitellin types in Ponerini and Ectatommini is similar to that found in the more primitive tenthredinoid sawflies (Hymenoptera, Symphyta), and may indicate polyphyly in the Ponerinae. Insect vitellogenins and yolk proteins show considerably more diversity than originally believed, and the possibility of the functional significance of these differences should be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-293
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Insect Physiology
Volume45
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1999

Fingerprint

Vitellins
vitellin
Hymenoptera
Ants
Vitellogenins
vitellogenin
Formicidae
apoproteins
Apoproteins
Insect Proteins
Symphytum
Egg Proteins
polyphyly
yolk proteins
sawflies
Sequence Analysis
sequence analysis
insects

Keywords

  • Harpegnathos saltator
  • Phylogeny
  • Ponerinae
  • Vitellin
  • Vitellogenin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science
  • Physiology

Cite this

Atypical vitellins in ponerine ants (Formicidae : Hymenoptera). / Wheeler, Diana E; Liebig, Jürgen; Hölldobler, Bert.

In: Journal of Insect Physiology, Vol. 45, No. 3, 03.1999, p. 287-293.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wheeler, Diana E ; Liebig, Jürgen ; Hölldobler, Bert. / Atypical vitellins in ponerine ants (Formicidae : Hymenoptera). In: Journal of Insect Physiology. 1999 ; Vol. 45, No. 3. pp. 287-293.
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