Advanced search
Start date

Methylome analysis of honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) worker ovaries in response to social condition

Grant number: 17/09269-3
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2017
Effective date (End): October 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Animal Genetics
Principal Investigator:Klaus Hartmann Hartfelder
Grantee:Carlos Antônio Mendes Cardoso Júnior
Supervisor abroad: Benjamin Paul Oldroyd
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : University of Sydney, Australia  
Associated to the scholarship:16/15881-0 - Epigenetics and gene expression analysis of the longevity vs. reproduction trade-off in Apis mellifera L. (Apidae, Hymenoptera) queens, BP.DD


DNA methylation has become a hallmark of the aging-relate genomic architecture in higher vertebrates. In invertebrates, however, the best studied aging models, the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans and the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, either do not have DNA methylation at all (C. elegans) or its role is still unclear and controversial. Since the honey bee, Apis mellifera, has a complete genetic toolkit for DNA methylation and methylation occurs at CpG dinucleotides of gene bodies, we decided to investigate the possible role of DNA methylation in this social insect. Furthermore, different from other metazoans, social insects, with the honey bee as a model organism, present a major disruption in the reproduction/longevity trade-off, making it an even more attractive model to study the epigenetics aspects of longevity and reproduction. Our hypothesis is that inactive state of the ovaries of workers (the facultative worker sterility) is contingent on the social condition of the hive, that is, the presence or absence of a dominant egg-laying queen, and that this social condition affects the ovary methylome and, implicitly the workers' reproduction/longevity trade-off. We recently obtained preliminary results showing that expression of the DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) genes is strongly up-regulated in inactive ovaries of workers kept in queen right colonies, and is similarly up-regulated in ovaries of workers kept in cages and exposed to synthetic queen mandibular gland pheromone. With this current project proposal, we expect to gain deep insights into the role of DNA methylation in molecular regulatory network underlying the reproduction/longevity trade-off in workers. (AU)

Scientific publications (4)
(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)
CARDOSO-JUNIOR, C. A. M.; OLDROYD, B. P.; RONAI, I. Vitellogenin expression in the ovaries of adult honeybee workers provides insights into the evolution of reproductive and social traits. Insect Molecular Biology, JAN 2021. Web of Science Citations: 0.
CARDOSO-JUNIOR, CARLOS ANTONIO MENDES; RONAI, ISOBEL; HARTFELDER, KLAUS; OLDROYD, BENJAMIN P. Queen pheromone modulates the expression of epigenetic modifier genes in the brain of honeybee workers. BIOLOGY LETTERS, v. 16, n. 12 DEC 23 2020. Web of Science Citations: 1.
SCHUMANN, N. A. B.; CARDOSO-JUNIOR, C. A. M.; SILVA, E. H.; UEIRA-VIEIRA, C.; BELETTI, M. E.; FRANCO, M. B.; BEZERRA-LAURE, M.; ARAUJO, G. R.; TRAVENCOLO, B. A. N.; BONETTI, A. M. Three-dimensional reconstruction of corpora allata nucleus reveals insights into epigenetic mechanisms of caste differentiation in Melipona scutellaris stingless bees. Apidologie, v. 50, n. 3, p. 330-339, JUL 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.
MENDES CARDOSO-JUNIOR, CARLOS ANTONIO; EYER, MICHAEL; DAINAT, BENJAMIN; HARTFELDER, KLAUS; DIETEMANN, VINCENT. Social context influences the expression of DNA methyltransferase genes in the honeybee. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, v. 8, JUL 23 2018. Web of Science Citations: 5.

Please report errors in scientific publications list by writing to: