Primer effect of queen pheromone on juvenile hormone biosynthesis in adult worker honey bees
- Cite this article as:
- Kaatz, HH., Hildebrandt, H. & Engels, W. J Comp Physiol B (1992) 162: 588. doi:10.1007/BF00296638
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Juvenile hormone synthesis in adult worker honey bees was measured by an in vitro corpora allata bioassay. Adult queenless workers exhibit higher rates of juvenile hormone biosynthesis than queenright workers. Hormone synthesis is not correlated with the volume of the glands. Extract of queen mandibular glands, applied to a dummy, reduces juvenile hormone biosynthesis in caged queenless workers to the level of queenright workers. The same result was obtained with synthetic (E)-9-oxo-2-decenoic acid, the principal component of the queen mandibular gland secretion. This pheromonal primer effect may function as a key regulating element in maintaining eusocial colony homeostasis. The presence of brood does not affect the hormone production of the corpora allata.
Key wordsJuvenile hormone biosynthesisPrimer pheromone(E)-9-oxo-2-decenoic acidSocial dominanceBee, Apis mellifera
bovine serum albumin