Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
When exogenous ecdysone is injected into a host (adult or intermolt nymph) which has no ecdysone of its own, gametogenesis is induced in the protozoa of such a host, although the host itself never undergoes ecdysis. The time required to induce this sexual process varies in different genera and with the dosage of hormone administered; but it is never possible, regardless of the amount of hormone given, to induce gametogenesis in all the genera at the same time; some still begin a day or two later than others, but never 40-45 days later as occurs in untreated roaches.Likewise, when exogenous ecdysone is administered to a nymphal host in the molting period, the sexual cycles of its protozoa are greatly accelerated, and the host undergoes ecdy-sis much sooner than would otherwise have been the case. Both sexuality in the protozoa and the molting process in the host are accelerated. Only when large doses of ecdysone are administered are the sexual cycles of the protozoa modified in any way except a decided acceleration. Quite large amounts of ecdysone present special problems for the protozoa, problems they never encounter in nature. The growth and differentiation hormone ecdysone causes the protozoa to grow and differentiate so rapidly that many of them cannot keep pace; as a result, degeneration begins, and death follows. But this over-acceleration effect of ecdysone and death of the protozoa occurs only in those genera which have not undergone gametogenesis when the large amount of hormone is administered; those which have completed gametogenesis are not affected at all. The results of acceleration have been observed in most genera, but have been studied more intensively in Tricho-nympha, where they are usually seen to be considerably more pronounced on the nuclei and chromosomes than on the cytoplasm. As a result, this genus, which invariably in nature undergoes only fertilization, is sometimes made to undergo either autogamy or endomitosis. The pronuclei, for example, differentiate and are ready to (and do) fuse before the cytoplasm of the gametocyte divides to form gametes. In the case of endomitosis, precocious differentiation of chromosomes seems to produce, or at least goes along with, premature degeneration of one centriole, the one that would ordinarily degenerate following fusion of gametes. Thus, nuclear division is made impossible.In some genera of the protozoa, the ecdysone titer must drop greatly before meiosis can begin. If the titer, after ecdysis. when it normally drops precipitously, is kept high with injections, meiosis does not begin; it is retarded for as long as the ecdysone titer is kept high.
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