Document Detail

Ultrastructure meets reproductive success: performance of a sphecid wasp is correlated with the fine structure of the flight-muscle mitochondria.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12713750     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Organisms show a remarkable inter-individual variation in reproductive success. The proximate causes of this variation are not well understood. We hypothesized that the ultrastructure of costly or complex tissues or organelles might affect reproductive performance. We tested this hypothesis in females of a sphecid wasp, the European beewolf, Philanthus triangulum (Hymenoptera, Sphecidae), that show considerable variation in reproductive success. The most critical component of reproduction in beewolf females is flying with paralysed honeybees, which more than double their weight. Because of the high energetic requirements for flight, we predicted that the ultrastructure of the flight-muscle mitochondria might influence female success. We determined the density of mitochondria and the density of the inner mitochondrial membranes (DIMM) of the flight muscles as well as age, body size and fat content. Only DIMM had a significant influence on female reproductive success, which might be mediated by an elevated adenosine triphosphate (ATP) supply. The variation in DIMM might result from differences in larval provisions or from an accumulation of mutations in the mitochondrial genome. Our results support the hypothesis that the organization of complex structures contributes to inter-individual variation in reproductive success.
Erhard Strohm; Wiltrud Daniels
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society     Volume:  270     ISSN:  0962-8452     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Biol. Sci.     Publication Date:  2003 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-04-25     Completed Date:  2003-08-14     Revised Date:  2010-09-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101245157     Medline TA:  Proc Biol Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  749-54     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology, Theodor-Boveri-Institute, University of Würzburg, Am Hubland, D-97074 Würzburg, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
Flight, Animal / physiology
Intracellular Membranes / physiology,  ultrastructure*
Mitochondria / metabolism,  ultrastructure*
Muscle, Skeletal / cytology*,  physiology,  ultrastructure
Predatory Behavior
Reproduction / physiology*
Wasps / cytology*,  physiology*,  ultrastructure
Wing / cytology*,  physiology
Reg. No./Substance:
56-65-5/Adenosine Triphosphate

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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