Journal of Comparative Physiology B

, Volume 162, Issue 7, pp 588–592

Primer effect of queen pheromone on juvenile hormone biosynthesis in adult worker honey bees

  • Hans-Hinrich Kaatz
  • Herbert Hildebrandt
  • Wolf Engels

DOI: 10.1007/BF00296638

Cite this article as:
Kaatz, HH., Hildebrandt, H. & Engels, W. J Comp Physiol B (1992) 162: 588. doi:10.1007/BF00296638


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 words

Juvenile hormone biosynthesis Primer pheromone (E)-9-oxo-2-decenoic acid Social dominance Bee, Apis mellifera 



bovine serum albumin


Corpora allata


juvenile hormone


(E)-9-oxo-2-decnoic acid

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans-Hinrich Kaatz
    • 1
  • Herbert Hildebrandt
    • 1
  • Wolf Engels
    • 1
  1. 1.Zoologisches Institut, Lehrstuhl EntwicklungsphysiologieUniversität TübingenTübingenFRG
  2. 2.Department of EntomologyCenter for Insect ScienceTucsonUSA
  3. 3.Institut für Biologie der TechnischenUniversität BerlinBerlin 10FRG

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