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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 #337659

Research Project: Conservation of Genetic Diversity and Improved Storage Protocols for Agricultural Pests and Beneficial Insects

Location: Insect Genetics and Biochemistry Research

Title: Micro-computed tomography of pupal metamorphosis in the solitary bee Megachile rotundata

item HELM, BRYAN - North Dakota State University
item PAYNE, SCOTT - North Dakota State University
item Rinehart, Joseph - Joe
item Yocum, George
item BOWSHER, JULIA - North Dakota State University
item GREENLEE, KENDRA - North Dakota State University

Submitted to: Arthropod Structure and Development
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/9/2018
Publication Date: 6/28/2018
Citation: Helm, B.R., Payne, S., Rinehart, J.P., Yocum, G.D., Bowsher, J.H., Greenlee, K.J. 2018. Micro-computed tomography of pupal metamorphosis in the solitary bee Megachile rotundata. Arthropod Structure and Development. 47(5):521-528.

Interpretive Summary: Although the external changes that an insect goes through during development through its life stages are well known, much less is known about how structures inside the insect are affected. Using an advanced x-ray based system called micro-computed tomography, we observed the development of the brain, muscles, gut, and other internal structures and organs during the later stages of development in the alfalfa leafcutting bee. We observed that different organs have different developmental patterns and developmental rates. This may significantly affect how this important alternative pollinator is managed.

Technical Abstract: Insect metamorphosis involves a complex change in form and function, but most of these changes are internal and treated as a black box. In this study, we examined development of the solitary bee, Megachile rotundata, using micro-computed tomography (µCT) and digital volume analysis. We describe developmental progression of brain, tracheae, flight muscles, gut, and unidentified inclusions during prepupal, pupal, and adult M. rotundata. We observed that individual organ systems have distinct patterns of developmental progression—varying in their timing and duration. This has important implications for its management as a commercial and natural pollinator.