Physiological reason for ceasing growth of unfertilized eggs produced by unmated queens in the subterranean termite Reticulitermes chinensis [article]

Ganghua Li, Long Liu, Pengdong Sun, Yao Wu, Chaoliang Lei, Xiongwen Chen, Qiuying Huang
2016 bioRxiv   pre-print
In Reticulitermes chinensis, a close relative of R. speratus with asexual queen succession, unfertilized eggs can be produced but are not incubated. To explain this phenomenon, we analysed the physiological differences between unfertilized eggs/unmated queens and fertilized eggs/mated queens. Fertilized eggs consumed significantly larger quantities of five amino acids (Cys, Met, Ile, Leu and Tyr), Ca, protein and cholesterol during incubation. The higher levels of four trace elements (Na, K, Zn
more » ... and Fe) in fertilized eggs and their lower levels in mated queens indicated that mated queens might transfer these trace elements to fertilized eggs to complete incubation. The higher levels of Mn, triglycerides and serotonin in mated queens and higher levels of Mn and glucose in fertilized eggs suggested that these substances are very important for normal ovarian and embryonic growth. The different expression of three reproductive genes (vtg1, rab11 and JHE1) suggested that they might be involved in the regulation of ovarian and embryonic growth. Overall, changes in these physiological indices may substantially affect ovarian and embryonic growth and prohibit the incubation of unfertilized eggs in R. chinensis.
doi:10.1101/037390 fatcat:6pf3fpjtmrcztedunoidjybj5m