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Effects of age and gender on immune function of dragonflies (Odonata, Lestidae) from a wild population

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Immunity is a crucial determinant of fitness. Despite this, very few studies have addressed the expression of immune function in insect populations in the wild. I present data on two immune parameters, hemocyte load and expression of phenoloxidase, in adult damselflies (Lestes viridis) from a wild population. In a comparison of newly emerged with sexually mature adults, it was found that the latter had higher hemocyte loads but lower phenoloxidase expression. Mature females showed significantly higher phenoloxidase expression than mature males. The sexual differences might be explained by gender differences in life history.

L'immunité est un facteur déterminant essentiel du fitness. Pourtant, il existe très peu de travaux sur l'expression de la fonction immunitaire chez les populations d'insectes en nature. On trouvera ici des données sur deux paramètres de l'immunité, la charge d'hémocytes et l'expression de la phénoloxydase, chez des adultes de la demoiselle Lestes viridis provenant d'une population sauvage. La comparaison d'adultes fraîchement transformés à des mâles adultes qui ont atteint leur maturité sexuelle révèle que les adultes ont des charges d'hémocytes plus grandes, mais l'expression de la peroxydase est moins importante. L'expression de la peroxydase est significativement plus élevée chez les femelles à maturité que chez les mâles à maturité. Ces variations sont peut-être dues à des différences liées au sexe au cours du cycle biologique.[Traduit par la Rédaction]
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-12-01

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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