Submitted to: Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting North Central Branch
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/30/2004
Publication Date: 3/30/2004
Citation: Habibi, J., Shelby, K.S., Puttler, B. 2004. Fluorescent and ultrastructural studies of the teratocytes of Microctonus aethiopoides (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) from the hemocoel of the host alfalfa weevil, Hypera postica (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)[abstract]. Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting North Central Branch. p. 54.
Technical Abstract: The braconid Microctonus aethiopoides is a koinobiont endoparasitoid of alfalfa weevil adults. After oviposition and subsequent egg maturation large trophic cells called teratocytes dissociate and are released into the host hemocoel. These teratocytes are usually present in large numbers and visible to the naked eye. It is thought that teratocytes accumulate host hemocoelic metabolites for later consumption by the parasitoid larva. We have undertaken an ultrastructural study of these gargantuan and complex cells utilizing TEM and fluorescence microscopy. Parasitized adults were dissected in medium. Teratocytes were collected, fixed, dehydrated, embedded and sectioned into semi-thin sections for fluorescent and ultra-thin sections for TEM studies. Semi-thin sections were stained with various specific fluorescent dyes for plasma membrane, Golgi, nuclei, lysosomes, mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum. Analysis of fluorescent images showed that these cells do not have condensed nuclei. ER was abundant around the nuclear envelope. Lysosomes were positioned around the periphery of the nucleus and Golgi apparatus was significantly enlarged, being located around the nuclear envelope. TEM reveals the presence of dense microvilli over the entire plasma membrane, indicating high levels of nutrient uptake.