• olfactory system;
  • development;
  • lectins;
  • insect;
  • honeybee

Glycoproteins are thought to play a crucial role in cell—cell interactions during nervous system ontogeny both in vertebrates and invertebrates. In order to investigate the putative involvement of such molecules during bee brain ontogeny we used lectins for their ability to bind specifically carbohydrate moieties. The expression of four lectin receptors, i.e. Arachis hypogea (PNA), Triticum vulgaris (WGA), Glycine max(SBA), and Concanavalin A (Con A) has been studied during pupal development and in the adult. The antennal lobe shows a complementary pattern of expression of Con A which stains both neuron somata and glomerular contours, and PNA, which stains the glomerular neuropile. SBA strongly stained the perineurium, trachea and mushroom body neuropile, while other neuropiles were not stained. WGA stained neuronal somata and the core of the glomeruli.