Juvenile Hormone Biosynthesis Gene Expression in the corpora allata of Honey Bee (Api

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  1. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    Juvenile Hormone Biosynthesis Gene Expression in the corpora allata of Honey Bee (Apis mellifera L.) Female Castes
    Juvenile hormone (JH) controls key events in the honey bee life cycle, viz. caste development and age polyethism. We quantified transcript abundance of 24 genes involved in the JH biosynthetic pathway in the corpora allata-corpora cardiaca (CA-CC) complex. The expression of six of these genes showing relatively high transcript abundance was contrasted with CA size, hemolymph JH titer, as well as JH degradation rates and JH esterase (jhe) transcript levels. Gene expression did not match the contrasting JH titers in queen and worker fourth instar larvae, but jhe transcript abundance and JH degradation rates were significantly lower in queen larvae. Consequently, transcriptional control of JHE is of importance in regulating larval JH titers and caste development. In contrast, the same analyses applied to adult worker bees allowed us inferring that the high JH levels in foragers are due to increased JH synthesis. Upon RNAi-mediated silencing of the methyl farnesoate epoxidase gene (mfe) encoding the enzyme that catalyzes methyl farnesoate-to-JH conversion, the JH titer was decreased, thus corroborating that JH titer regulation in adult honey bees depends on this final JH biosynthesis step. The molecular pathway differences underlying JH titer regulation in larval caste development versus adult age polyethism lead us to propose that mfe and jhe genes be assayed when addressing questions on the role(s) of JH in social evolution.