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Genotype effect on lifespan following vitellogenin knockdown

Description

Honey bee workers display remarkable flexibility in the aging process. This plasticity is closely tied to behavioral maturation. Workers who initiate foraging behavior at earlier ages have shorter lifespans, and

Honey bee workers display remarkable flexibility in the aging process. This plasticity is closely tied to behavioral maturation. Workers who initiate foraging behavior at earlier ages have shorter lifespans, and much of the variation in total lifespan can be explained by differences in pre-foraging lifespan. Vitellogenin (Vg), a yolk precursor protein, influences worker lifespan both as a regulator of behavioral maturation and through anti-oxidant and immune functions. Experimental reduction of Vg mRNA, and thus Vg protein levels, in wild-type bees results in precocious foraging behavior, decreased lifespan, and increased susceptibility to oxidative damage. We sought to separate the effects of Vg on lifespan due to behavioral maturation from those due to immune and antioxidant function using two selected strains of honey bees that differ in their phenotypic responsiveness to Vg gene knockdown. Surprisingly, we found that lifespans lengthen in the strain described as behaviorally and hormonally insensitive to Vg reduction. We then performed targeted gene expression analyses on genes hypothesized to mediate aging and lifespan: the insulin-like peptides (Ilp1 and 2) and manganese superoxide dismutase (mnSOD). The two honey bee Ilps are the most upstream components in the insulin-signaling pathway, which influences lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster and other organisms, while manganese superoxide dismutase encodes an enzyme with antioxidant functions in animals. We found expression differences in the llps in fat body related to behavior (llp1 and 2) and genetic background (Ilp2), but did not find strain by treatment effects. Expression of mnSOD was also affected by behavior and genetic background. Additionally, we observed a differential response to Vg knockdown in fat body expression of mnSOD, suggesting that antioxidant pathways may partially explain the strain-specific lifespan responses to Vg knockdown.

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Date Created
  • 2015-01-01

Genomic correlates of recombination rate and its variability across eight recombination maps in the western honey bee (Apis mellifera L.)

Description

Background
Meiotic recombination has traditionally been explained based on the structural requirement to stabilize homologous chromosome pairs to ensure their proper meiotic segregation. Competing hypotheses seek to explain the emerging

Background
Meiotic recombination has traditionally been explained based on the structural requirement to stabilize homologous chromosome pairs to ensure their proper meiotic segregation. Competing hypotheses seek to explain the emerging findings of significant heterogeneity in recombination rates within and between genomes, but intraspecific comparisons of genome-wide recombination patterns are rare. The honey bee (Apis mellifera) exhibits the highest rate of genomic recombination among multicellular animals with about five cross-over events per chromatid.
Results
Here, we present a comparative analysis of recombination rates across eight genetic linkage maps of the honey bee genome to investigate which genomic sequence features are correlated with recombination rate and with its variation across the eight data sets, ranging in average marker spacing ranging from 1 Mbp to 120 kbp. Overall, we found that GC content explained best the variation in local recombination rate along chromosomes at the analyzed 100 kbp scale. In contrast, variation among the different maps was correlated to the abundance of microsatellites and several specific tri- and tetra-nucleotides.
Conclusions
The combined evidence from eight medium-scale recombination maps of the honey bee genome suggests that recombination rate variation in this highly recombining genome might be due to the DNA configuration instead of distinct sequence motifs. However, more fine-scale analyses are needed. The empirical basis of eight differing genetic maps allowed for robust conclusions about the correlates of the local recombination rates and enabled the study of the relation between DNA features and variability in local recombination rates, which is particularly relevant in the honey bee genome with its exceptionally high recombination rate.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-02-21