The dynamics of replication of the intracellular endosymbiotic bacterium Blochmannia floridanus was determined during the larval development of its host ant Camponotusfloridanus by real-time quantitative PCR. The bacteria were found to proliferate during pupation and immediately after the eclosion of the imagines (adult ants). In older workers the number of bacteria present in the midgut bacteriocytes decreased significantly. In contrast, the bacterial population in the ovaries was dependent on the reproductive state of the animal. An age-dependent degeneration of the midgut bacteriocytes was also investigated by microscopic techniques in males and female castes of the closely related ant species C. herculeanus and C sericeiventris, respectively, with similar results and supports the concept of age-dependent degeneration of the midgut bacteriocytes in all castes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology