Submitted to: Genbank
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/26/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: .
Technical Abstract: The alfalfa leafcutting bee is the primary pollinator used in the production of alfalfa seed in the United States and Canada. The alfalfa leafcutting bee spends approximately 9 months of the year in a dormancy state known as diapause, which makes this the primary stage managed by bee keepers. In order to develop a more thorough understanding of diapause with the aim of improving management protocols, an RNA-seq study was carried out. Using the data from all samples, we assembled a transcriptome representing 13,566 gene loci with 50,081 total transcripts (isoforms). Based on the BUSCO transcriptome completeness assessment, more than 92% of M. rotundata protein-coding genes were transcribed during the developmental periods evaluated (86.8% of the expected genes were complete, another 5.9% were fragmented, and 7.3% were missing). Gene expression analysis revealed that gene expression during diapause is highly impacted by the environmental history of the bees. Based on the results we hypothesize that diapause is an omnigenic response and that the transcript expression profile of an individual insects is shaped by its environmental history. This would suggest that bee managers may need to adjust over wintering storage conditions to account for the bees environmental history to improve post-storage quality of the bees.