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Seasonal Variation in the Titers and Biosynthesis of the Primer Pheromone Ethyl Oleate in Honey Bees.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22634045     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Honey bees allocate tasks along reproductive and non-reproductive lines: the queen mates and lays eggs, whereas the workers nurse the brood and forage for food. Among workers, tasks are distributed according to age: young workers nurse and old workers fly out and forage. This task distribution in the colony is further regulated by an increase in juvenile hormone III as workers age and by pheromones. One such compound is ethyl oleate (EO), a primer pheromone that delays the onset of foraging in young workers. EO is produced by foragers when they are exposed to ethanol (from fermented nectar) while gathering food. EO is perceived by younger bees via olfaction. We describe here the seasonal variation of EO production and the effects of Methoprene, a juvenile hormone analog. We found that honey bee workers biosynthesize more EO during the growing season than during the fall and winter months, reaching peak levels at late spring or summer. When caged workers were fed with syrup + d(6)-ethanol, labeled EO accumulated in the honey crop and large amounts exuded to the exoskeleton. Exuded levels were high for several hours after exposure to ethanol. Treatment with Methoprene increased the production of EO in worker bees, by speeding up its movement from biosynthetic sites to the exoskeleton, where EO evaporates. Crop fluid from bees collected monthly during the growing season showed a modest seasonal variation of in vitro EO biosynthetic activity that correlated with the dry and sunny periods during which bees could forage.
Authors:
Carlos Castillo; Alban Maisonnasse; Yves Le Conte; Erika Plettner
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-5-23
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of insect physiology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1879-1611     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-5-28     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2985080R     Medline TA:  J Insect Physiol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Affiliation:
Department of Chemistry, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada.
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