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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Insect Genetics and Biochemistry Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #313700

Research Project: INSECT CRYOPRESERVATION, DORMANCY, GENETICS AND BIOCHEMISTRY

Location: Insect Genetics and Biochemistry Research

Title: Growth rate variation using the geometric framework in honeybees (Apis mellifera)

Author
item Slater, Garett - North Dakota State University
item Helm, Bryan - North Dakota State University
item Yocum, George
item Bowsher, Julia - North Dakota State University

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/10/2014
Publication Date: 1/3/2015
Citation: Slater, G.P., Helm, B.R., Yocum, G.D., Bowsher, J.H. 2015. Growth rate variation using the geometric framework in honeybees (Apis mellifera) [abstract]. The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. Paper No. P3.182.

Interpretive Summary: Nutrition is very important for the overall health and physiology of developing organisms. Insects are particularly sensitive to nutrition during development because all growth (total mass gained) occurs during the larval stage of life, and more importantly nutritional stockpiles are acquired that will be used during further development (change in form) though pupal to the adult stage. As a result, larval nutrition can have direct positive or negative effects on adult physiology. The diet of larval honey bees, Apis mellifera, is quite unique because workers feed the young bees entirely with secretions, called jelly. As a result it is difficult to determine the effects of larval nutritive components on adult physiology. In this study, we used a laboratory rearing method to determine the effects of nutrition on larval growth rate, development rate and survival. We varied the carbohydrate (suger), and water contents of larval diet while monitoring growth and development. In summary, we observed survival and growth rate differences among our altered larval diets; however, we did not observe differences in development time.

Technical Abstract: Nutrition is of central importance for the overall health and physiology of developing organisms. Insects are particularly responsive to nutritional status during development because all growth occurs during the larval stage of life, and more importantly nutritional reserves are acquired that will be used during metamorphosis. As a consequence larval nutrition can have direct positive or negative effects on adult phenotypes. Dietary provisions in larval honey bees, Apis mellifera, are quite unique because workers provision brood entirely with secretions, called jelly. As a consequence it is difficult to ascertain the effects of larval nutritive components on development performance and adult phenotypes. In this study, we implemented an in vitro rearing method to ascertain the effects of nutrition on larval growth rate, development rate and survival. Guided by the geometric framework for nutrition, we systematically varied the relative jelly, carbohydrate, and water contents of larval diet while monitoring growth and development. In summary, we observed survival and growth rate differences among our altered larval diets; however, we did not observe differences in development time. In greater detail, our results show the direct implications different nutritive components on the physiology of developing larval honeybees.