Matthias Van Vaerenbergh

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The shift from solitary to social behavior is one of the major evolutionary transitions. Primitively eusocial bumblebees are uniquely placed to illuminate the evolution of highly eusocial insect societies. Bumblebees are also invaluable natural and agricultural pollinators, and there is widespread concern over recent population declines in some species.(More)
Honey bee venom is a complex mixture of toxic proteins and peptides. In the present study we tried to extend our knowledge of the venom composition using two different approaches. First, worker venom was analysed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and this revealed the antimicrobial peptide apidaecin for the first time in such samples. Its(More)
UNLABELLED At present, 30 compounds have been described in the venom of the honeybee, and 16 of them were confirmed by mass spectrometry. Previous studies typically combined 2-D PAGE with MALDI-TOF/TOF MS, a technology which now appears to lack sensitivity to detect additional venom compounds. Here, we report an in-depth study of the honeybee venom proteome(More)
For most people Hymenoptera stings result in transient and bothersome local inflammatory responses characterized by pain, itching, redness and swelling. In contrast, for those presenting an IgE-mediated allergic reaction, a re-sting may cause life-threatening reactions. In such patients, correct diagnosis is an absolute prerequisite for effective(More)
The eusocial societies of honeybees, where the queen is the only fertile female among tens of thousands sterile worker bees, have intrigued scientists for centuries. The proximate factors, which cause the inhibition of worker bee ovaries, remain largely unknown; as are the factors which cause the activation of worker ovaries upon the loss of queen and brood(More)
Eusocial insect societies display a remarkable reproductive division of labor between a single fertile queen and thousands of largely sterile workers. In most species, however, the workers retain the capacity to reproduce, particularly in queenless colonies where typically many workers lay eggs. As yet, the molecular determinants that initiate this shift in(More)
Venoms of invertebrates contain an enormous diversity of proteins, peptides, and other classes of substances. Insect venoms are characterized by a large interspecific variation resulting in extended lists of venom compounds. The venom composition of several hymenopterans also shows different intraspecific variation. For instance, venom from different(More)
Api m 10 has recently been established as novel major allergen that is recognized by more than 60% of honeybee venom (HBV) allergic patients. Previous studies suggest Api m 10 protein heterogeneity which may have implications for diagnosis and immunotherapy of HBV allergy. In the present study, RT-PCR revealed the expression of at least nine additional Api(More)
Within the Apidae, the largest family of bees with over 5600 described species, the honeybee is the sole species with a well studied venom proteome. So far, only little research has focused on bumblebee venom. Recently, the genome sequence of the European large earth bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) became available and this allowed the first in-depth(More)