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A comparison between vitellogenesis in virgin and mated females of Tenebrio molitor showed significant differences at each investigated developmental stage. Yolk protein deposition in oocytes, measured as an increase in their size parameters (length, width, and volume), proceeded much faster and was more efficient in mated females as compared to virgins. In fertilized females the gonadotropic cycle showed a cyclicity with an eight-day period while virgin females finish their vitellogenic stage after the first cycle. These differences were reflected in changes in the rate of protein synthesis in the fat body of females completing vitellogenesis or entering the next oogenetic cycle. In the haemolymph, in addition to a large (158 kDa) and two small (56 kDa and 45 kDa) subunits of vitellogenin, there was an abundance of proteins of 80 kDa and 60 kDa.
Continuing our studies on proctolin (Arg-Tyr-Leu-Pro-Thr) we performed the syn­thesis and biological evaluation of 52 analogues substituted in position 2, 3, 4, and 5 of the peptide chain. The peptides were bioassayed for cardiotropic activity in vitro on Tenebrio molitor and myotropic activity on foregut of Schistocerca gregaria. Twenty analogues retained 20-80% of proctolin activity.
An X-ray microtomographic analysis of the prothoracic skeleton structure of seven Platynotina species is presented. The investigated taxa represent different morphological types of pronotal discs. Tenebrio molitor was used as a reference model to all taxonomie considerations. The anatomical evidence gathered and analyzed in this study indicates that lateral indentations of nota, which are visible in most of the Ectateus generic group representatives, corresponds with a placement of the attachments of the pleural apophyses to the bottom of pronotal disc. Therefore, they should be defined as the apophyseal depressions. Furthermore, the main observed differences between the thoracic structure of the species with conspicuous apophyseal depressions and convex pronotal nota concerns the height of the pronotal disc and the elevation of its edges. The current investigations did not revealed any significant modifications of the endoskeletal structure between the prothoraces with or without the basal indentations. The study shows that X-ray microtomographic analysis is a powerful, non-destructive tool for the taxonomie considerations and that it can be safely applied to the name-bearing types. Furthermore, the application of this method, even to the dried entomological material, may provide many advantages over traditional morphological investigations.
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