Nutritional Control of Reproductive Status in Honeybees via DNA Methylation

  title={Nutritional Control of Reproductive Status in Honeybees via DNA Methylation},
  author={Robert Kucharski and Joanna Maleszka and Sylvain For{\^e}t and Ryszard Maleszka},
  pages={1827 - 1830}
Fertile queens and sterile workers are alternative forms of the adult female honeybee that develop from genetically identical larvae following differential feeding with royal jelly. [] Key Result We show that silencing the expression of DNA methyltransferase Dnmt3, a key driver of epigenetic global reprogramming, in newly hatched larvae led to a royal jelly-like effect on the larval developmental trajectory; the majority of Dnmt3 small interfering RNA-treated individuals emerged as queens with fully…
Epigenetic integration of environmental and genomic signals in honey bees: the critical interplay of nutritional, brain and reproductive networks
The discovery of a family of highly conserved DNA cytosine methylases in honey bees and other insects suggests that, like mammals, invertebrates possess a mechanism for storing epigenetic information
Reproductive Potential Impacts Body Maintenance Parameters and Global DNA Methylation in Honeybee Workers (Apis mellifera L.)
Honeybees seem to be especially useful here because of long living rebel-workers (RW) with high reproductive potential recently described, which are queen-like considering global DNA methylation and the link between fecundity, longevity, and body maintenance.
Plant microRNAs in larval food regulate honeybee caste development
It is reported that plant RNAs, particularly miRNAs, which are more enriched in beebread than in royal jelly, delay development and decrease body and ovary size in honeybees, thereby preventing larval differentiation into queens and inducing development into worker bees.
Phenotypically distinct female castes in honey bees are defined by alternative chromatin states during larval development.
It is shown that at 96 h of larval growth, the queen-specific chromatin pattern is already established, whereas the worker determination is not, thus providing experimental support for the perceived timing of this critical point in developmental heterochrony in two types of honey bee females.
DNA methylation dynamics, metabolic fluxes, gene splicing, and alternative phenotypes in honey bees
In honey bees (Apis mellifera), the development of a larva into either a queen or worker depends on differential feeding with royal jelly and involves epigenomic modifications by DNA methyltransferases, underscoring the connection between dietary intake and metabolic flux.
Genomewide analysis indicates that queen larvae have lower methylation levels in the honey bee (Apis mellifera)
The honey bee is a social insect characterized by caste differentiation, by which a young larva can develop into either a queen or a worker, and DNA methylation levels increased with age, and a large number of genes in QL were downmethylated, which were involved in many processes including development, reproduction, and metabolic regulation.
Methylation and worker reproduction in the bumble-bee (Bombus terrestris)
In the bumble-bee Bombus terrestris, methylation differences between the genomes of queenless reproductive workers and queenless non-reproductive workers are found and it is intriguing that the main theory to explain the evolution of GI predicts that GI should be important in this worker reproduction behaviour.
Queen pheromone modulates the expression of epigenetic modifier genes in the brain of honeybee workers
It is shown that several genes responsible for epigenetic modifications to DNA, RNA and histones respond to the presence of QMP, which provides a plausible mechanism by which pheromone signalling may influence gene expression in the brain of honeybee workers.
MicroRNAs in Honey Bee Caste Determination
This work investigates the honeybee female and male caste-specific microRNA and transcriptomic molecular signatures during a critical time of larval development and shows how a common set of genetic elements are differentially harnessed by an organism, which may provide the remarkable level of developmental flexibility required.
A genetic switch for worker nutrition-mediated traits in honeybees
The first morphological worker mutants in honeybees demonstrate that the response to nutrition relies on a genetic program that is switched “ON” by the fem gene, which provides an entry point to genetically dissect the underlying processes that implement the size polyphenism.


The Making of a Queen: TOR Pathway Is a Key Player in Diphenic Caste Development
The results present the first evidence for a role of TOR in diphenic development, and suggest that adoption of this ancestral nutrient-sensing cascade is one evolutionary pathway for morphological caste differentiation in social insects.
Transposable Elements: Targets for Early Nutritional Effects on Epigenetic Gene Regulation
The results show that dietary methyl supplementation of a/a dams with extra folic acid, vitamin B12, choline, and betaine alter the phenotype of their Avy/a offspring via increased CpG methylation at the AvY locus and that the epigenetic metastability which confers this lability is due to the Avy transposable element.
The early establishment of dimorphism in the female honeybee,Apis mellifera L.
It is suggested that a difference in hormonal balance between castes is established in early larval life and is the intermediary factor linking nutrition to dimorphism.
DNA methylation with a sting: an active DNA methylation system in the honeybee.
  • M. SchaeferF. Lyko
  • Biology
    BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology
  • 2007
These findings establish bees as a model to analyze the function of DNA methylation systems in invertebrate organisms and might also be important to understand evolutionary aspects ofDNA methylation in higher eukaryotes.
Functional CpG Methylation System in a Social Insect
Using the recently sequenced honey bee genome, a bioinformatic, molecular, and biochemical characterization of a functional DNA methylation system in an insect is presented and catalytically active orthologs of the vertebrate DNA methyltransferases Dnmt1 and DNmt3a and b are reported.
Evolution of the Yellow/Major Royal Jelly Protein family and the emergence of social behavior in honey bees.
It is demonstrated that the MRJP family is encoded by nine genes arranged in an approximately 60-kb tandem array, and it appears that MRJP protein subfamily evolution from the Yellow protein family may have coincided with the evolution of honey bee eusociality.
Epigenetic programming by maternal behavior
It is shown that an epigenomic state of a gene can be established through behavioral programming, and it is potentially reversible, suggesting a causal relation among epigenomicState, GR expression and the maternal effect on stress responses in the offspring.
Phenotypic Plasticity and the Origins of Diversity
Much recent progress has been made toward integrating developmental and evolutionary biology, especially in vertebrate morphology, developmental genetics, and molecular biology, though an unfortunate one because it seems to imply that the main effect of developmental constraints is that of "Developmental constraints".