, Volume 90, Issue 11, pp 501–504 | Cite as

Aphid soldier differentiation: density acts on both embryos and newborn nymphs

  • Harunobu Shibao
  • Jae-Min Lee
  • Mayako Kutsukake
  • Takema FukatsuEmail author
Short Communication


The mechanism of caste differentiation in a social aphid Tuberaphis styraci, which has a sterile soldier caste in the 2nd instar, was investigated using an artificial diet rearing system. High aphid density induced soldier production. Combinatorial prenatal and postnatal density treatments revealed that (1) either prenatal high density or postnatal high density is sufficient for soldier induction; (2) thus, embryos in the maternal body and newborn 1st instar nymphs are both responsive to high density; (3) the combination of prenatal high density and postnatal high density enhances soldier differentiation in a synergistic manner; and (4) the final determination of soldier differentiation occurs postnatally, probably at a late 1st instar stage. This study first throws light on the developmental aspects of caste differentiation in a social aphid.


Juvenile Hormone Instar Nymph Aphid Density Normal Nymph Caste Differentiation 
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We thank T. Wilkinson for reading the manuscript. This research was supported by the ProBRAIN grant from the Bio-Oriented Technology Research Advancement Institution. H.S. was supported by the Domestic Research Fellowship of the Science and Technology Agency of Japan.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harunobu Shibao
    • 1
  • Jae-Min Lee
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mayako Kutsukake
    • 1
  • Takema Fukatsu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute for Biological Resources and FunctionsNational Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)TsukubaJapan
  2. 2.Developmental Biology DepartmentNational Institute of Agrobiological SciencesTsukubaJapan

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