Location: Bee Research LaboratoryTitle: Transcriptome comparison between inactivated and activated ovaries of the honey bee Apis mellifera L
|NIU, DEFANG - Zhejiang University|
|ZHENG, HUOQING - Zhejiang University|
|LU, YUANYUAN - Zhejiang University|
|CHEN, XUAN - Zhejiang University|
|CAO, LIANFEI - Zhejiang Academy Of Agricultural Sciences|
Submitted to: Insect Molecular Biology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2014
Publication Date: 12/15/2014
Citation: Niu, D., Zheng, H., Corona, M.V., Lu, Y., Chen, X., Cao, L. 2014. Transcriptome comparison between inactivated and activated ovaries of the honey bee Apis mellifera L. Insect Molecular Biology. 23(5):668-681.
Interpretive Summary: In honey bee colonies, queens are reproductive and workers are sterile. However, under certain circumstances (such as the lost of the queen) some workers can produce eggs. In this study we investigated the differences in gene expression between inactivated and activated ovaries of queens and workers. Our data reveals that ovarian activation in queens and workers are associated to the regulation of common genetic pathways, including those involved in key insect hormones such as juvenile hormone, ecdysone and insulin. Our results provide important insights into the molecular mechanisms involved in reproduction of honey bees. The information obtained from this study will be of interest to scientists as well as the beekeeping community at large.
Technical Abstract: Ovarian activity not only influences fertility, but is also involved with the regulation of division of labor between reproductive and behavioral castes of female honey bees. In order to identify candidate genes associated with ovarian activity, we compared the gene expression patterns between inactivated and activated ovaries of queens and workers by means of high-throughput RNA-sequencing technology. A total of 1615 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) was detected between ovaries of virgin and mated queens, and more than 5300 DEGs were detected between inactivated and activated worker ovaries. Intersection analysis of DEGs amongst five libraries revealed that a similar set of genes (824) participated in the ovary activation of both queens and workers. A large number of these DEGs were predominantly related to cellular, cell and cell part, binding, biological regulation and metabolic processes. In addition, over 1000 DEGs were linked to more than 230 components of Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathways, including 25 signaling pathways. The reliability of the RNA-sequencing results was confirmed by means of quantitative real-time PCR. Our results provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms involved in ovary activation and reproductive division of labor.