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A Glycoproteinaceous Secretion in the Seminal Vesicles of the Termite Coptotermes gestroi (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

Department of Biology, Laboratory of Termites, Institute of Biosciences, São Paulo State University—UNESP, Campus Rio Claro, 24A Avenue, 1515, Bela Vista, Rio Claro, SP 13506-900, Brazil
Center for Natural and Human Sciences, Federal University of ABC—UFABC, Building Delta, room 241, 03 Arcturus Street, Jardim Antares, São Bernardo do Campo, SP 09606-070, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2019, 10(12), 428;
Received: 10 May 2019 / Revised: 21 August 2019 / Accepted: 30 August 2019 / Published: 26 November 2019
Coptotermes gestroi is a subterranean termite with colonies generally headed by a pair of primary reproductives, although neotenics may occur. In this study, the male reproductive system was compared during different life stages of nymphs, alates, neotenic reproductives, and kings of C. gestroi, focusing on the modifications of this system along the maturation of these individuals. The structure of the male reproductive system follows the pattern described for insects, although C. gestroi males do not exhibit conspicuous penises and differentiated accessory glands. In kings, each testis consisted of about seven lobes, significantly increased in size as compared to younger males. The spermatogenesis begins in third-instar nymphs, which already presented spermatozoa in the testes. The seminal vesicles are individualized in C. gestroi and have a secretory distal portion and a proximal portion with a role in spermatozoa storage. The secretion of the seminal vesicles is strongly periodic acid Schiff (PAS)-positive, whereas the xylidine Ponceau test revealed proteins that increase in quantity while the males become older. This is the first record of glycoproteins in the lumen of seminal vesicles in termites. Further studies will clarify how they are produced and interact in the physiology and nutrition of the non-flagellate spermatozoa of C. gestroi. View Full-Text
Keywords: Blattaria; kings; neotenics; reproductive system; spermatozoa; testes Blattaria; kings; neotenics; reproductive system; spermatozoa; testes
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Laranjo, L.T.; Haifig, I.; Costa-Leonardo, A.M. A Glycoproteinaceous Secretion in the Seminal Vesicles of the Termite Coptotermes gestroi (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). Insects 2019, 10, 428.

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