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Brazilian Journal of Biology

Print version ISSN 1519-6984

Abstract

MARTINS, E.  and  CONTEL, E. P. B.. African dung beetle Onthophagus gazella Fabricius (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) esterase isozymes. Braz. J. Biol. [online]. 2001, vol.61, n.4, pp. 645-650. ISSN 1519-6984.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842001000400014.

African beetles Onthophagus gazella from both sexes were analyzed by electrophoresis for an investigation of esterase isozymes using alpha-naphthyl propionate and methylumbelliferyl propionate as substrates. Only one of the esterases (Est. 6) reacted with one of the substrates (alpha-naphthyl propionate). Six areas of activity were found, two of them being polymorphic (Est. 3 and Est. 4). For presence of Est. 3, 337 individuals were analyzed, including descendants of 32 controlled crossings: two alleles were identified, whose frequencies are Est. 3A = 0.447 and Est. 3B = 0.553. The population is in equilibrium for this locus (qui-square = 4.18; 0.2 > P > 0.1). For Est. 4, 338 individuals, descendants of 32 controlled crossings, were analysed. In this case, three alleles were identified whose frequencies are: Est. 4A = 0.277; Est. 4B = 0.661; and Est. 4C = 0.062. The population is not in equilibrium for this locus (qui-square = 40.259; p < 0.001). Two esterases were detected only in the pupal stage and another one in larvae. Of the 23 loci analyzed in these insects up to now, 3 are polymorphic (13%), which indicates very low variability in the population here studied.

Keywords : beetle; isozyme; esterase.

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