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Differentiation of adult in corbiculate bees: heterochrony of cuticular morphogenesis and secondary sources of ecdisteroids

Grant number: 07/08300-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2008
Effective date (End): February 29, 2012
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics
Principal researcher:Marcia Maria Gentile Bitondi
Grantee:Moysés Elias Neto
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:05/03926-5 - Functional genomics of Apis mellifera: search for new genes and functional networks in the context of development, different castes and reproduction, AP.TEM


After the participation of our research group (Laboratório de Biologia do Desenvolvimento de Abelhas - LBDA) in the annotation and publication of the honeybee genome (The honeybee genome sequencing consortium - 2006 - Nature 443: 931-949) our attention is now focused on understanding the architecture and function of gene sequences (functional genomics) and on elucidating the molecular evolution of social behavior (comparative sociogenomics). These two lines of research are contemplated in the current project. In previous studies we investigated the differentiation of the honeybee exoskeleton with emphasis on integument morphogenesis. The expression of AmLac 1 and AmLac 2 genes, which encode key enzymes (laccases) for cuticle differentiation and sclerotization was also studied in relation to ecdysteroid titer modulation. In addition, a structural cuticle protein gene, AmelCPR14, was identified and its regulation by ecdysteroids was elucidated (Elias-Neto, 2005, 2008; Elias-Neto et al., 2005, 2006, 2007; Soares et al., 2007). It is our aim to extend this approach through the investigation of the regulatory role of the honeybee brain on exoskeleton differentiation. Genes encoding the neuro-hormone Bursicon (AmBurs ± e AmBurs ²) will be cloned, sequenced and characterized. Their function will be studied in relation to cuticle tanning by using RNA interference for gene silencing. In addition, as part of this project, we will test two hypotheses concerning adult exoskeleton differentiation in corbiculate bees. First, we intend to verify if the heterochrony of cuticle tanning, or the delay in adult exoskeleton maturation in eusocial bees, is effectively an evolutionary conserved ontogenetic phenomenon related to sociality. Second, it is our goal to investigate the existence of alternative sources of ecdysteroids, in addition to prothoracic glands, during adult honeybee differentiation. We believe these ontogenetic and evolutionary approaches will yield a comprehensive view of integument differentiation in corbiculate bees.

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Scientific publications (5)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
ELIAS-NETO, MOYSES; NASCIMENTO, ANA L. O.; BONETTI, ANA M.; NASCIMENTO, FABIO S.; MATEUS, SIDNEI; GAROFALO, CARLOS A.; BITONDI, MARCIA M. G. Heterochrony of cuticular differentiation in eusocial corbiculate bees. Apidologie, v. 45, n. 4, p. 397-408, JUL 2014. Web of Science Citations: 3.
MOYSÉS ELIAS-NETO; MICHELLE P.M. SOARES; MÁRCIA M. G. BITONDI. Expression profile of a Laccase2 encoding gene during the metamorphic molt in Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera,Apidae). Revista Brasileira de Entomologia, v. 57, n. 2, p. -, Jun. 2013.
ELIAS-NETO, MOYSES; SOARES, MICHELLE P. M.; BITONDI, MARCIA M. G. Expression profile of a Laccase2 encoding gene during the metamorphic molt in Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera, Apidae). Revista Brasileira de Entomologia, v. 57, n. 2, p. 213-216, APR-JUN 2013. Web of Science Citations: 2.
SOARES, MICHELLE P. M.; SILVA-TORRES, FERNANDA A.; ELIAS-NETO, MOYSES; NUNES, FRANCIS M. F.; SIMOES, ZILA L. P.; BITONDI, MARCIA M. G. Ecdysteroid-Dependent Expression of the Tweedle and Peroxidase Genes during Adult Cuticle Formation in the Honey Bee, Apis mellifera. PLoS One, v. 6, n. 5 MAY 31 2011. Web of Science Citations: 19.
ELIAS-NETO, MOYSES; SOARES, MICHELLE P. M.; SIMOES, ZILA L. P.; HARTFELDER, KLAUS; BITONDI, MARCIA M. G. Developmental characterization, function and regulation of a Laccase2 encoding gene in the honey bee, Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera, Apinae). Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, v. 40, n. 3, SI, p. 241-251, MAR 2010. Web of Science Citations: 51.

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