Initiation of flight muscle apoptosis and wing casting in the red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Newly-mated Solenopsis invicta flight queens cast (shed) their wings within 24 h. An examination of their flight muscle cells reveals numerous apoptotic (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase mediated dUTP nick end labelling positive) nuclei. By contrast, flight muscle cells of mature alate virgin (MAV) females removed 24 h earlier from a managed laboratory colony exhibit neither wing casting nor the presence of apoptotic nuclei. Using MAV-females, the initiation of flight muscle apoptosis and wing casting is compared with artificial mating using seminal fluid with sperm, seminal fluid with no sperm, saline as a negative control, the mating flight as simulated in the laboratory, elevated CO2 exposure, application of methoprene (a juvenile hormone analogue), or injection of 20-hydroxyecdysone. Numerous apoptotic nuclei are revealed in the flight muscle cells of mated dealate females 24 h after a natural mating flight but not in MAV-females controls. Only artificial mating of MAV-females reveals a similar pattern of apoptotic nuclei flight muscle 24 h after insemination. None of the other factors tested induces flight muscle cell apoptosis in MAV-females. Methoprene dissolved in methyl ethyl ketone, at a concentration of 0.44 ng per μL per ant, stimulates 90% of MAV-females to shed their wings within 24 h, as opposed to 10% or less wing shedding for the methyl ethyl ketone control and all other treatments. © 2008 The Royal Entomological Society.

published proceedings

  • Physiological Entomology

author list (cited authors)

  • AZIZI, T., JOHNSTON, J. S., & VINSON, S. B.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • AZIZI, TOGHARA||JOHNSTON, J SPENCER||VINSON, S BRADLEIGH

publication date

  • March 2009

publisher