Journal of Insect Physiology vol:54 issue:3 pages:543-554
A 6-kDa phase-related peptide (PRP) was recently identified from the hemolymph of the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria. Its presence in much higher concentrations in the crowd-reared (gregarious) phase than in the isolated-reared (solitarious) one suggests a role in phase polyphenism. However, when tested in a variety of classical bioassays, no activity could be found. We hoped that uncovering its site(s) of synthesis might yield hints as to possible functions. An antiserum was raised against the C-terminal 16 aa part of PRP for use in immunocytochemistry. No immunoreactivity was recorded in the fat body, midgut, or Malpighian tubules. The strongest positive immunostaining was observed in the follicle cells of the ovary and in the seminal vesicle tubes of the male accessory gland complex. Also, positive were a pair of large neurosecretory cells in the subesophageal ganglion, the storage part of the corpora cardiaca and some nerve fibers in the brain- and abdominal regions. An additional mass spectrometric analysis was successfully done in combination with a BLAST search to detect possible false positive staining. This confirmed the presence of genuine PRP in most of the immunopositive tissues. Additional experiments are needed to unravel the role of PRP. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.