Structure and function of the intestine and malpighian tubules: From bee biology to cell marker development for toxicological analysis
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The purpose of this chapter is to exhibit research developed about morphological studies in honeybee organs and others social insects, specifically in midgut and Malpighian tubules. The chapter will include a review of relevant articles about structure and function of these organs to provide knowledge of social insect biology with emphasis in larvae and adults of bees, as in Apis mellifera as in Meliponini. This section of the chapter will discuss the basic tissue architecture of midgut and Malpighian tubules and some differences according species and groups. Since the histology and ultra-morphology of midgut and Malpighian tubules are well characterized, any modification in their structure and function or in the physiological process of programmed cell death, induced by xenobiotics, can be diagnosed. The midgut and Malpighin tubules of larvae and adults of bees are involved in the absorption an excretion of chemical compounds, respectively, an assessment of their morphology can reveal ultrastructural alterations induced by environmental stressors such as pesticides. Then, in a second section of this article, the subject is to report on the advances of the morphological studies of honeybee organs in response to pesticide exposure, which will contribute to data acquisition for building shared knowledge on bee biology and toxicology, providing arguments for effective policy marking in this field of research. © 2011 Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.