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.
Making a queen: an epigenetic analysis of the robustness of the honeybee (Apis mellifera) queen developmental pathway
It is proposed that environmental changes induced by the commercial rearing practice result in a suboptimal queen phenotype via epigenetic processes, which may potentially contribute to the evolution of queen–worker dimorphism.
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.


Molecular determinants of caste differentiation in the highly eusocial honeybee Apis mellifera
It is suggested that clusters of functionally related DEGs are co-regulated during caste development in honeybees and a conceptual model of caste differentiation in A. mellifera based on gene-regulatory networks is proposed.
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.
Effects of Larval Age on Dimorphic Differentiation of the Female Honey Bee
The female honey bee is potentially polymorphic, and some mechanism must operate to maintain the fairly strict dimorphism found in nature.
Differential gene expression between developing queens and workers in the honey bee, Apis mellifera.
  • J. Evans, D. Wheeler
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1999
This work reports the success of a molecular-genetic approach for studying queen- and worker-specific gene expression in the development of the honey bee (Apis mellifera), and identifies seven differentially expressed loci that are particularly promising as potential regulators of caste differentiation.
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. Schaefer, F. 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.
RNAi-induced phenotypes suggest a novel role for a chemosensory protein CSP5 in the development of embryonic integument in the honeybee (Apis mellifera)
It is suggested that csp5 (unable-to-hatch) is an ectodermal gene involved in embryonic integument formation in this insect and the utility of an RNAi approach to functional characterization of novel developmental genes uncovered by the honeybee genome project is confirmed.
Caste-specific maturation of the endocrine system in the female honey bee larva
Data demonstrate a caste-specific maturation of the endocrine organs which results in differences in hormone titres in the developing queen and worker larva.