Date of Defense

Spring 4-20-1992


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

David P. Cowan, Biological Sciences

Second Advisor

Richard W. Pippen, Biological Sciences

Third Advisor

Stephen Malcolm, Biological Sciences


Starch gel electrophoresis of isozymes has been a powerful tool for the study of evolutionary and population biology. This technique allows the identification and measurement of allele and genotype frequencies within populations. These frequencies can then be used to estimate levels of genic heterozygosity, estimate genetic relatedness between species or populations, and determine patterns of geographic variation in allele frequencies. DNA studies have proven to be useful for more detailed genetic studies, but isozyme electrophoresis has advantage for population studies because large numbers of samples can be run quickly and inexpensively. Isozyme studies were undertaken in three species of solitary nesting wasps: Euodynerus foraminatus, E. planitarsis, and Ancistrocerus antilope (Hymenoptera: Vespidae). For this study, the author employed two buffer systems differing in pH. This provides two benefits: 1) Alteration of pH alters protein charge, and therefore mobility, allowing the detection of an increased number of variants. 2) Where variation is detected, a second run acts as a control against artifactual variation that may appear on a single run due to extraneous factors. The author reports the number of loci encoding four enzymes and infer the quaternary structure of those enzymes when possible. A second aim of the work is to determine the allele and genotype frequencies in the 3 species studied.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only