Colonies of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, consist of males and two female castes: workers and queens. The castes and males from A. mellifera have a distinct morphology, physiology and behaviour that correlate with their roles in the society and are characterized by some brain polymorphisms. Compound eyes are one of the characteristics that differ among the castes and sexes. A. mellifera is a holometabolous insect; therefore, the development of adult organs during metamorphosis, which will produce these differences, requires the precise coordination of three main programmed cellular processes: proliferation, differentiation and death. These processes take place simultaneously during pupation. Our purpose was to investigate cell division and death in the optic lobes (OL) of workers, queens and males during pupation to identify how the differences in the compound eyes in adults of these classes are achieved. The results showed that OL differentiation follows a similar pattern in the three classes of individuals studied, without structural differences in their development. The main non-structural differences involve cell division, mortality rates and timing. The results suggest a modelling of the brain during differentiation, which contributes to the specific functions of each individual class.
Volume 45, 2020
Continuous Article Publishing mode
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