PMID: 45833Jan 1, 1979

Histochemical and biophysical study of cuticle sclerotization in Pycnoscelus surinamensis L. (Blattaria)

Basic and Applied Histochemistry
P M Bernardini, A Cersosimo


The problem of melaninogenesis and quinone tanning of the cuticle was examined by histochemical and biophysical methods (electroparamagnetic resonance: EPR) on normal subjects of Pycnoscelus surinamensis and on subjects with abnormal cuticular colour. The cuticle of abnormal subjects showed a lower content of polyphenolic substances and a greater positivity for the indole group. This suggests that in these insects tanning products can be synthetized differently and not derived from tyrosine but from tryptophan as postulated by Pryor (1955). Furthermore, a higher number of unsaturated aminic groups is found in abnormal subjects. Granules present only in the cytoplasm of the epidermal cells of the abnormal newly moulted subjects may indicate that the polyphenolic compound of tanning, secreted in an inactive form as 4-0, beta-glucoside, is not freed from the beta-glucosidase and remains as such in the cytoplasm.

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