Oncopeltus fasciatus (Insecta, Heteroptera)
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary 1. Active prothoracic glands and oenocytes of last larval stage are both characteristized by well-developed smooth and rough endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Prothoracic glands also show plasma membrane infoldings, but not oenocytes which contain a large number of pleomorphic vesicles. 2. The fine structure of embryonic oenocytes corresponds after blastokinesis with that of active larval and adult cells. Thus, an activity in the late embryo can be assumed. Embryonic prothoracic glands reveal no signs of activity: smooth and rough ER are absent. The subcellular structure resembles that of organ anlagen, i.e. not yet fully differentiated tissue. Hormone synthesis is not likely. 3. Ecdysone titer was determined throughout embryonic development and in mature adults. Although prothoracic glands break down during adult ecdysis, imagines contain in the Calliphora-bioassay active factors: females 0.9 CU/g and males 0.5 CU/g. As sites of synthesis the oenocytes are suggested. 4. A relatively high ecdysone titer of 7 CU/g is measured in newly deposited eggs. The hormone is presumably of maternal origin. Subsequent to blastokinesis the hormone content increases dramatically up to about 180 CU/g, apparently due to endocrine function of the embryo. Oenocytes are proposed as the source of ecdysone during late embryonic development. 5. The function of ecdysone during early and advanced embryogenesis, especially in view of “embryonic molts”, is discussed.
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