Vitellogenin has been identified in the ant Camponotus festinatus, both in queens and workers. In the workers, it is already present before adult eclosion in low concentrations (<1 μg/μl hemolymph). Vitellogenin and vitellin are immunologically identical and are composed of a single type of apoprotein with an apparent Mr = 185,000. The molecular weight of the native molecules was estimated as ∼460,000 by pore limiting gradient electrophoresis. Vitellogenin was detected as a major protein in the hemolymph of young workers, both under queenright and queenless conditions. Thus, in spite of their sterility in the presence of the queen, C. festinatus workers are able to synthetize vitellogenin which is identical both in size and immunologically to the queen vitellogenin. About 6–7 weeks after adult eclosion, however, vitellogenin was usually undetectable in the hemolymph of queenright workers, particularly the minor workers, while it constituted about 30% of total protein in queenless workers. Protein concentration in the hemolymph of queenless insects increased up to 20‐fold as compared to 1‐day‐old insects. Queenless workers also developed large amounts of perivisceral fat body, while queenright workers, particularly the minor workers, showed a dramatic fat body regression about 6 weeks after emergence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science