Storage function and ultrastructure of the adult fat body in workers of the ant Camponotus festinatus (Buckley) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Rosemarie C. Rosell, Diana E. Wheeler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

The presence of storage proteins in ants is perhaps most remarkable in its abundance in some species in the adult stage. The ultrastructure of fat body in workers of Camponotus festinatus (Hymenoptera : Formicidae) confirms that they do indeed store large quantities of protein, as well as lipid and carbohydrate, under some conditions. Rounded electron-dense granules, which are abundant in workers maintained in groups isolated from the parent colony, probably contain an arylphorin-like protein. Irregularly shaped electron-dense granules present in all workers regardless of age, caste or social environment, resemble primarily lysosomes, but lack acid phosphatase activity. Peroxisomes were also identified but were not associated with either type of dense granule. Lipid analysis showed that lipid storage followed similar patterns to protein storage, with isolated workers, especially soldiers, accumulating huge quantities of triglycerides. The relationship between storage of nutrient reserves and the presence of larvae suggests that the stores may function in regulating seasonal brood production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-426
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Insect Morphology and Embryology
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1995

Keywords

  • Social insects
  • lipid
  • storage protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Insect Science

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