Gene expression in honey bee (Apis mellifera) larvae exposed to pesticides and Varroa mites (Varroa destructor)

Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory, Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, Natural Area Drive, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.
Journal of insect physiology (Impact Factor: 2.5). 04/2012; 58(8):1042-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2012.03.015
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Honey bee (Apis mellifera) larvae reared in vitro were exposed to one of nine pesticides and/or were challenged with the parasitic mite, Varroa destructor. Total RNA was extracted from individual larvae and first strand cDNAs were generated. Gene-expression changes in larvae were measured using quantitative PCR (qPCR) targeting transcripts for pathogens and genes involved in physiological processes, bee health, immunity, and/or xenobiotic detoxification. Transcript levels for Peptidoglycan Recognition Protein (PGRPSC), a pathogen recognition gene, increased in larvae exposed to Varroa mites (P<0.001) and were not changed in pesticide treated larvae. As expected, Varroa-parasitized brood had higher transcripts of Deformed Wing Virus than did control larvae (P<0.001). Varroa parasitism, arguably coupled with virus infection, resulted in significantly higher transcript abundances for the antimicrobial peptides abaecin, hymenoptaecin, and defensin1. Transcript levels for Prophenoloxidase-activating enzyme (PPOact), an immune end product, were elevated in larvae treated with myclobutanil and chlorothalonil (both are fungicides) (P<0.001). Transcript levels for Hexameric storage protein (Hsp70) were significantly upregulated in imidacloprid, fluvalinate, coumaphos, myclobutanil, and amitraz treated larvae. Definitive impacts of pesticides and Varroa parasitism on honey bee larval gene expression were demonstrated. Interactions between larval treatments and gene expression for the targeted genes are discussed.


Available from: Aleš Gregorc, Jun 13, 2015
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    05/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.cois.2015.03.007
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    Pest Management Science 01/2014; 70(1). DOI:10.1002/ps.3539 · 2.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chinese honeybee Apis cerana (Ac) is one of the major Asian honeybee species for local apiculture. However, Ac is frequently damaged by Chinese sacbrood virus (CSBV), whereas Apis mellifera (Am) is usually resistant to it. Heterospecific royal jelly (RJ) breeding in two honeybee species may result in morphological and genetic modification. Nevertheless, knowledge on the resistant mechanism of Am to this deadly disease is still unknown. In the present study, heterospecific RJ breeding was conducted to determine the effects of food change on the larval mortality after CSBV infection at early larval stage. 2-DE and MALDI-TOF/TOF MS proteomic technology was employed to unravel the molecular event of the bees under heterospecific RJ breeding and CSBV challenge. The change of Ac larval food from RJC to RJM could enhance the bee resistance to CSBV. The mortality rate of Ac larvae after CSBV infection was much higher when the larvae were fed with RJC compared with the larvae fed with RJM. There were 101 proteins with altered expressions after heterospecific RJ breeding and viral infection. In Ac larvae, 6 differential expression proteins were identified from heterospecific RJ breeding only, 21 differential expression proteins from CSBV challenge only and 7 differential expression proteins from heterospecific RJ breeding plus CSBV challenge. In Am larvae, 17 differential expression proteins were identified from heterospecific RJ breeding only, 26 differential expression proteins from CSBV challenge only and 24 differential expression proteins from heterospecific RJ breeding plus CSBV challenge. The RJM may protect Ac larvae from CSBV infection, probably by activating the genes in energy metabolism pathways, antioxidation and ubiquitin-proteasome system. The present results, for the first time, comprehensively descript the molecular events of the viral infection of Ac and Am after heterospecific RJ breeding and are potentially useful for establishing CSBV resistant populations of Ac for apiculture.
    PLoS ONE 08/2014; 9(8):e102663. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0102663 · 3.53 Impact Factor

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