Volume 35 Issue 2
Mar.  2014
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Xin-Liang SHAO, Shao-Yu HE, Xin-Ying ZHUANG, Ying FAN, Ya-Hui LI, Yong-Gang YAO. mRNA expression and DNA methylation in three key genes involved in caste differentiation in female honeybees (Apis mellifera). Zoological Research, 2014, 35(2): 92-98. doi: 10.11813/j.issn.0254-5853.2014.2.092
Citation: Xin-Liang SHAO, Shao-Yu HE, Xin-Ying ZHUANG, Ying FAN, Ya-Hui LI, Yong-Gang YAO. mRNA expression and DNA methylation in three key genes involved in caste differentiation in female honeybees (Apis mellifera). Zoological Research, 2014, 35(2): 92-98. doi: 10.11813/j.issn.0254-5853.2014.2.092

mRNA expression and DNA methylation in three key genes involved in caste differentiation in female honeybees (Apis mellifera)

doi: 10.11813/j.issn.0254-5853.2014.2.092
  • Received Date: 2013-09-14
  • Rev Recd Date: 2014-02-17
  • Publish Date: 2014-03-08
  • In honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies, queens and workers are alternative forms of the adult female honeybee that develop from genetically identical zygotes but that depend on differential nourishment. Queens and workers display distinct morphologies, anatomies and behavior, better known as caste differentiation. Despite some basic insights, the exact mechanism responsible for this phenomenon, especially at the molecular level, remains unclear although some progress has been achieved. In this study, we examined mRNA levels of the TOR (target of rapamycin) and Dnmt3 (DNA methyltransferase 3) genes, closely related to caste differentiation in honeybees. We also investigated mRNA expression of the S6K (similar to RPS6-p70-protein kinase) gene linked closely to organismal growth and development in queen and worker larvae (1-day and 3-day old). Last, we investigated the methylation status of these three genes in corresponding castes. We found no difference in mRNA expression for the three genes between 1st instar queen and worker larvae; however, 3rd instar queen larvae had a higher level of TOR mRNA than worker larvae. Methylation levels of all three genes were lower in queen larvae than worker larvae but the differences were not statistically significant. These findings provide basic data for broadening our understanding of caste differentiation in female honeybees.
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mRNA expression and DNA methylation in three key genes involved in caste differentiation in female honeybees (Apis mellifera)

doi: 10.11813/j.issn.0254-5853.2014.2.092

Abstract: In honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies, queens and workers are alternative forms of the adult female honeybee that develop from genetically identical zygotes but that depend on differential nourishment. Queens and workers display distinct morphologies, anatomies and behavior, better known as caste differentiation. Despite some basic insights, the exact mechanism responsible for this phenomenon, especially at the molecular level, remains unclear although some progress has been achieved. In this study, we examined mRNA levels of the TOR (target of rapamycin) and Dnmt3 (DNA methyltransferase 3) genes, closely related to caste differentiation in honeybees. We also investigated mRNA expression of the S6K (similar to RPS6-p70-protein kinase) gene linked closely to organismal growth and development in queen and worker larvae (1-day and 3-day old). Last, we investigated the methylation status of these three genes in corresponding castes. We found no difference in mRNA expression for the three genes between 1st instar queen and worker larvae; however, 3rd instar queen larvae had a higher level of TOR mRNA than worker larvae. Methylation levels of all three genes were lower in queen larvae than worker larvae but the differences were not statistically significant. These findings provide basic data for broadening our understanding of caste differentiation in female honeybees.

Xin-Liang SHAO, Shao-Yu HE, Xin-Ying ZHUANG, Ying FAN, Ya-Hui LI, Yong-Gang YAO. mRNA expression and DNA methylation in three key genes involved in caste differentiation in female honeybees (Apis mellifera). Zoological Research, 2014, 35(2): 92-98. doi: 10.11813/j.issn.0254-5853.2014.2.092
Citation: Xin-Liang SHAO, Shao-Yu HE, Xin-Ying ZHUANG, Ying FAN, Ya-Hui LI, Yong-Gang YAO. mRNA expression and DNA methylation in three key genes involved in caste differentiation in female honeybees (Apis mellifera). Zoological Research, 2014, 35(2): 92-98. doi: 10.11813/j.issn.0254-5853.2014.2.092
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