Hydrolases in the hypopharyngeal glands of workers of Scaptotrigona postica and Api smellifera (Hymenoptera, Apinae)

Rosiléia A.C. Costa, Carminda da Cruz-Landim
Published October 25, 2005
Genet. Mol. Res. 4 (4): 616-623 (2005)

About the Authors
Rosiléia A.C. Costa, Carminda da Cruz-Landim

Corresponding author
C. Cruz-Landim
Email: cclandim@rc.unesp.br.


Hydrolytic enzymes from hypopharyngeal gland extracts of newly emerged, nurse and foraging workers of two eusocial bees, Scaptotrigona postica, a native Brazilian stingless bee, and the Africanized honey bee (Apis mellifera) in Brazil, were compared. The hypopharyngeal gland is rich in enzymes in both species. Fifteen different enzymes were found in the extracts, with only a few quantitative differences between the species. Some of the enzymes present in the extracts may have intracellular functions, while others seem to be digestive enzymes. Scaptotrigona postica, had lower β-glucosidase and higher lipase esterase activities than A. mellifera. The differences may be due to different feeding habits and behavioral peculiarities of the two species.

Key words: Apidae, Apini, Enzymes, Esterase lipase, Glucosidases, Africanized honeybee, Meliponini, Stingless bee

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