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Ovary transcriptome analysis of Scaptotrigona postica and relationship with the reproductive behavior of eusocial species

Grant number: 17/01643-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2018
Effective date (End): February 29, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics
Principal Investigator:Zilá Luz Paulino Simões
Grantee:Danielle Cristina de Luna Lucena
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Two groups of bees are readily recognizable by their distinct social organization, the honey bees (Apini) and the stingless bees (Meliponini). The Apis mellifera and Scaptotrigona postica are representatives of such societies. Despite some social life-history similarities, these groups differ remarkably regarding the ovary structure and reproductive behavior aspects. In this project, we aim to study genes related to the reproductive behavior in S. postica, through observations on behavior presented by species, especially on those related to the reproductive strategies, associated with the ovary morphological signals and to the ovary transcriptome analysis. We aim to investigate the actions of the Anarchy gene in workers of S. postica. This gene is known for regulates the reproductive state in workers of A. mellifera. Moreover, we intend to elucidate the actions of other genes in queens and workers of S. postica, as the Ark and Buffy genes, which are involved on the programmed death cell and are potential regulators of the reproductive state in queens and workers of A. mellifera. Next generation sequencing (RNAseq) will be employed for the transcriptomic sequences as well as bioinformatics approaches for the mounting of transcripts. "De novo" assembly method will be used once it is indicated for species that have not available genome. We expect to understand how these genes, and also others which could be identified, are associated with the reproductive characteristics in queens and workers of S. postica taking into account behavioral and morphological characteristics entirely different from those described for A. mellifera. (AU)