The localization of F-actin (microfilaments) in the nurse cells of ovarian follicles has been studied in 12 different insect species by fluorescence microscopy after specifically staining F-actin with rhodamine-conjugated phalloidin. In the analysed species with polytrophic ovaries (Apis mellifica, Pimpla turionellae, Bradysia tritici, Ephestia kuehniella, Protophormia terraenovae) a dense F-actin network was found to be associated with the nurse cell membranes. Only in Protophormia were microfilament bundles seen to extend from the cell membrane into the nurse cell cytoplasm and in a few cases appeared to make contact with the nuclear membrane. In the analysed coleopteran species with telotrophic ovarioles (Strangalia melanura, Leptinotarsa decemlineata, Oryzaephilus surinamensis) the fluorescence was also concentrated at the nurse cell membranes only. However, in all analysed hemipteran species (Lygus pratensis, Calocoris affinis, Graphosoma lineatum, Euscelis plebejus) the microfilament pattern was very different: while the nurse cells stained only weakly, we always found a characteristic (in some species massive) microfilament network surrounding the trophic core, a central area in the germarium from where material is transported through the trophic cords into the oocytes. The observed differences in the microfilament patterns are likely to reflect different mechanisms for transporting macromolecules and organelles within the ovariole.

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