CELL DEATH IN THE GERMLINE – MECHANISMS AND CONSEQUENCES FOR REPRODUCTIVE PLASTICITY IN SOCIAL BEES
J. Morphol. Sci., vol.23, n1, p.0, 2006
Its serial architecture makes the insect ovary an interesting playground to study the regulation of cell death and identify critical check points along the apical-basal axis of the ovarioles. In Drosophila melanogaster, cell death is observed at two points: (1) in the germarium, where entire germ cell clusters may die in response to environmental conditions, and (2) as an obligatory event at the end of oogenesis, when nurse cells dump their cytoplasm into the oocyte and, subsequently, when the follicle epithelial cells form a chorion. The social organization of bees, wasps and ants depends on the monopolization of reproduction by a queen. This has marked consequences on the ovary phenotype of queens and workers. The role of programmed cell death in larval ovary development and in adult ovary function is best studied in honey bees. During larval development, workers loose over 90% of the ovariole primordia. This cell death is induced by a low juvenile hormone titer causing breakdown of the actin cytoskeleton in germ cell clusters. The actin cytoskeleton also plays a major role in the control of cell death in the ovary of adult bees, where many TUNEL-labeled and pycnotic nuclei are detected in a germarial region rich in actin agglomerates. This suggests that common mechanisms may regulate cell death in the ovaries of bees, both during the shaping of the caste-specific ovary phenotypes during larval development, and during the tuning of reproductive activity in adult bees.
Actin, Apis mellifera juvenile hormone, ovariole, social insect