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The primary structures and molecular mass data of neuropeptides that are released from major neuroendocrine sites of the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana, are well known. In the current study we extensively surveyed neuropeptides of the corpora cardiaca, the corpora allata and the abdominal perisympathetic organs, from 14 related cockroach species belonging to the family Blattidae. Mainly, this survey was executed by using mass spectrometric methods (MALDI-TOF MS). Peptides which appeared to be modified, as judged from their mass data and comparison with known data from P. americana, were fragmented by means of the post-source decay technique to determine their amino acid sequence. Single organ preparations sufficed to reveal the peptide pattern in neurohemal organs and to identify species-specific modifications, making it possible to glean information also from tissues of less abundant species that were caught during field trips. The peptide inventory described in this study is very typical of cockroaches of the family Blattidae and clearly separates this taxon from other taxa of cockroaches. The majority of neuropeptides was identical in all investigated species. Some peptides, however, displayed remarkable variations in their sequence which hint to a differential rate of modification among peptides of the same neuropeptide family. These modifications serve to distinguish further relatedness of taxa within the Blattidae.


Reinhard Predel, Gerd Gäde. Peptidomics of neurohemal organs from species of the cockroach family Blattidae: how do neuropeptides of closely related species differ? Peptides. 2005 Jan;26(1):3-9

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PMID: 15626499

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