Phosphorus Metabolites in the Oriental Hornet and Honeybee: NMR Examinations

Dafna Ben-Bashat, Gil Navon, Luba Litinetsky, Jacob S. Ishay*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In vivo 31P NMR spectroscopy was used to study the relative amounts of nucleotides and other phosphorus-containing compounds in the Oriental hornet (Vespa orientalis) and this according to the sex, caste and developmental stage of the insect as well as the distribution of these metabolites in the various body parts. For comparison purposes, honeybees (Apis mellifera) were also examined. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), arginine phosphate (AP), inorganic phosphate (Pi) and phosphomonoesters (PME), were measured. No marked differences in the relative quantities of the mentioned compounds in workers, drones and queens were discovered. However, during the metamorphosis of pupae to adult hornets a decrease in the PME concentration relative to the total amount of phosphorus compounds was detected. In both these stages, larvae and pupae, the AP/ATP ratio was much larger than in the adult hornets. Examinations of the various body parts revealed that the thorax contains the highest ratio of ATP/(total phosphorus compounds), followed by the head and the abdomen. The level of the phosphorus-containing compound was found to be stable over a period of a 9 hours. In extracts of larvae, pupae and adult hornets, and of honeybees, different proportions of phosphorylethanolamine(PE), phosphoryl-choline (PC), Pi, glycerol-phosphoryl-ethanolamine (GPE), glycerol-phosphoryl-choline (GPC), AP, ATP, adenosine diphosphate (ADP), uridine-diphosphoglucose (UDPG) and nicotineamide-adenine-dinucleotide (NAD+) could be identified by 31P NMR spectroscopy. A number of unidentified peaks with lower intensities could also be observed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-75
Number of pages11
JournalPhysiological Chemistry and Physics and Medical NMR
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999


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