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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research Unit

Title: Feeding and Mating are required for Ovarian Development and Egg Production in the Predaceous Minute Pirate Bug Orius pumilio

item Shirk, Paul
item Shapiro, Jeffrey

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 29, 2010
Publication Date: August 4, 2010
Citation: Shirk, P.D., Shapiro, J.P. 2010. Feeding and Mating are required for Ovarian Development and Egg Production in the Predaceous Minute Pirate Bug Orius pumilio. Developmental Biology.344:A124-No.3562010.

Technical Abstract: Female minute pirate bugs, Orius pumilio (Champion) require food and mating as adults to achieve maximum egg production. Last instar nymphs, isolated individually in single wells of 96-well microtiter plates, yielded low mortalities and assured virginity. Using morphological characters of these nymphs, correct sex identification was achieved with 96% accuracy. The availability of food (eggs of Ephestia kuehniella Zeller) and mates for these isolated females was conveniently controlled. Unfed adult females, whether mated or not, did not produce detectible yolk protein when assayed by ELISA, nor did they show any follicle development when examined microscopically. Fed but unmated females produced a significant, detectible amount of yolk protein, and some oocyte development was observed, but they contained no fully mature eggs. Females that were both fed and mated fell into two categories: 44% produced mature eggs at a mean rate of 6.4 eggs/female, while 56% had ovaries similar to those of fed but unmated females. We conclude that there is a two-stage process of egg development in adult female O. pumilio, in which early vitellogenesis depends on acquiring a nutritious adult diet, while completion of vitellogenesis and choriogenesis also requires mating. Unlike other Heteroptera, O. pumilio did not initiate vitellogenesis and yolk uptake under the influence of a juvenile hormone analog, indicating that juvenile hormone may not have a critical regulatory function in controlling egg production.

Last Modified: 9/20/2014
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