Submitted to: Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2010
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Caste systems, and the division of labor they make possible, are common underlying features of all social insects. In termites, multiple extrinsic factors have been shown to impact caste differentiation; for example, temperature has been shown to increase soldier production. The objective of this investigation was to examine and correlate the extrinsic factor, temperature, on termite caste differentiation and protein abundance. Results indicate that worker to soldier differentiation is modulated by temperature, where a greater number of soldiers developed at higher rate, compared to lower temperatures. Total protein was visualized and multiple proteins were identified and abundance was measured. Multiple unknown proteins were identified through LC/MS/MS and N-terminal sequencing. One protein, in particular, Hexamerin 2, showed a methoprene/temperature dependant effect. Hexamerin 1 only displayed a time effect. Together these results correlate ecological phenotypic development with protein abundance. These results directly lead to a better understanding of the complex developmental factors that control termite caste differentiation.