Matching Items (4)

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Morphometric Identification of Queens, Workers and Intermediates in In Vitro Reared Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)

Description

In vitro rearing is an important and useful tool for honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) studies. However, it often results in intercastes between queens and workers, which are normally are

In vitro rearing is an important and useful tool for honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) studies. However, it often results in intercastes between queens and workers, which are normally are not seen in hive-reared bees, except when larvae older than three days are grafted for queen rearing. Morphological classification (queen versus worker or intercastes) of bees produced by this method can be subjective and generally depends on size differences. Here, we propose an alternative method for caste classification of female honey bees reared in vitro, based on weight at emergence, ovariole number, spermatheca size and size and shape, and features of the head, mandible and basitarsus. Morphological measurements were made with both traditional morphometric and geometric morphometrics techniques. The classifications were performed by principal component analysis, using naturally developed queens and workers as controls. First, the analysis included all the characters. Subsequently, a new analysis was made without the information about ovariole number and spermatheca size. Geometric morphometrics was less dependent on ovariole number and spermatheca information for caste and intercaste identification. This is useful, since acquiring information concerning these reproductive structures requires time-consuming dissection and they are not accessible when abdomens have been removed for molecular assays or in dried specimens. Additionally, geometric morphometrics divided intercastes into more discrete phenotype subsets. We conclude that morphometric geometrics are superior to traditional morphometrics techniques for identification and classification of honey bee castes and intermediates.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-04-20

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Honey Bee Nutrition and Colony Collapse Disorder: How legislation can curtail bee population decline

Description

The purpose of this experiment was to test how different nutrition supplementation would affect honey bee lifespan. The use of sugar syrup and pollen as well as protein, probiotic, and

The purpose of this experiment was to test how different nutrition supplementation would affect honey bee lifespan. The use of sugar syrup and pollen as well as protein, probiotic, and vitamin supplement were the independent variables in this experiment. The average lifespan of a honey bee (Apis mellifera) is around 30 days depending on climate and time of year (Amdam & Omholt, 2002). This experiment yielded results that would require further testing but was able to conclude that a diet of sugar syrup is not sufficient for honey bees, whereas pollen and probiotic supplement showed positive effects on average lifespan. Protein supplement showed no statistically significant advantage or disadvantage to pollen when it comes to short term supplementation. Considering the importance of nutrition on honey bee lifespan, this paper also explores specific ways legislation can aid in pollinator population decline, considering the impacts of colonies without access to a healthy diet.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Support for the reproductive ground plan hypothesis of social evolution and major QTL for ovary traits of Africanized worker honey bees (Apis mellifera L.)

Description

Background
The reproductive ground plan hypothesis of social evolution suggests that reproductive controls of a solitary ancestor have been co-opted during social evolution, facilitating the division of labor among social

Background
The reproductive ground plan hypothesis of social evolution suggests that reproductive controls of a solitary ancestor have been co-opted during social evolution, facilitating the division of labor among social insect workers. Despite substantial empirical support, the generality of this hypothesis is not universally accepted. Thus, we investigated the prediction of particular genes with pleiotropic effects on ovarian traits and social behavior in worker honey bees as a stringent test of the reproductive ground plan hypothesis. We complemented these tests with a comprehensive genome scan for additional quantitative trait loci (QTL) to gain a better understanding of the genetic architecture of the ovary size of honey bee workers, a morphological trait that is significant for understanding social insect caste evolution and general insect biology.
Results
Back-crossing hybrid European x Africanized honey bee queens to the Africanized parent colony generated two study populations with extraordinarily large worker ovaries. Despite the transgressive ovary phenotypes, several previously mapped QTL for social foraging behavior demonstrated ovary size effects, confirming the prediction of pleiotropic genetic effects on reproductive traits and social behavior. One major QTL for ovary size was detected in each backcross, along with several smaller effects and two QTL for ovary asymmetry. One of the main ovary size QTL coincided with a major QTL for ovary activation, explaining 3/4 of the phenotypic variance, although no simple positive correlation between ovary size and activation was observed.
Conclusions
Our results provide strong support for the reproductive ground plan hypothesis of evolution in study populations that are independent of the genetic stocks that originally led to the formulation of this hypothesis. As predicted, worker ovary size is genetically linked to multiple correlated traits of the complex division of labor in worker honey bees, known as the pollen hoarding syndrome. The genetic architecture of worker ovary size presumably consists of a combination of trait-specific loci and general regulators that affect the whole behavioral syndrome and may even play a role in caste determination. Several promising candidate genes in the QTL intervals await further study to clarify their potential role in social insect evolution and the regulation of insect fertility in general.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011-04-13

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Honey Bee PTEN – Description, Developmental Knockdown, and Tissue-Specific Expression of Splice-Variants Correlated with Alternative Social Phenotypes

Description

Background
Phosphatase and TENsin (PTEN) homolog is a negative regulator that takes part in IIS (insulin/insulin-like signaling) and Egfr (epidermal growth factor receptor) activation in Drosophila melanogaster. IIS and Egfr

Background
Phosphatase and TENsin (PTEN) homolog is a negative regulator that takes part in IIS (insulin/insulin-like signaling) and Egfr (epidermal growth factor receptor) activation in Drosophila melanogaster. IIS and Egfr signaling events are also involved in the developmental process of queen and worker differentiation in honey bees (Apis mellifera). Here, we characterized the bee PTEN gene homologue for the first time and begin to explore its potential function during bee development and adult life.
Results
Honey bee PTEN is alternatively spliced, resulting in three splice variants. Next, we show that the expression of PTEN can be down-regulated by RNA interference (RNAi) in the larval stage, when female caste fate is determined. Relative to controls, we observed that RNAi efficacy is dependent on the amount of PTEN dsRNA that is delivered to larvae. For larvae fed queen or worker diets containing a high amount of PTEN dsRNA, PTEN knockdown was significant at a whole-body level but lethal. A lower dosage did not result in a significant gene down-regulation. Finally, we compared same-aged adult workers with different behavior: nursing vs. foraging. We show that between nurses and foragers, PTEN isoforms were differentially expressed within brain, ovary and fat body tissues. All isoforms were expressed at higher levels in the brain and ovaries of the foragers. In fat body, isoform B was expressed at higher level in the nurse bees.
Conclusion
Our results suggest that PTEN plays a central role during growth and development in queen- and worker-destined honey bees. In adult workers, moreover, tissue-specific patterns of PTEN isoform expression are correlated with differences in complex division of labor between same-aged individuals. Therefore, we propose that knowledge on the roles of IIS and Egfr activity in developmental and behavioral control may increase through studies of how PTEN functions can impact bee social phenotypes.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011-07-14