E-MEXP-3681 - Transcription profiling by array of honey bee queens Apis mellifera L. to investigate the differential effects of insemination volume and substance on reproductive changes
Released on 21 May 2013, last updated on 3 May 2014
Mating causes dramatic changes in female insects at the behavioral, physiological, and molecular levels. The factors driving these changes (e.g., seminal proteins, seminal volume) and the molecular pathways by which these factors are operating have been characterized only in a handful of insect species. Here we use instrumental insemination of honey bee queens to examine the role of the insemination substance (saline vs. semen) and volume (1 vs. 8 uL) in triggering post-mating changes. We also examine differences in gene expression patterns in the fat bodies of queens that have high ovary activation to determine if events during copulation can cause long-term changes in gene expression. We found that the instrumental insemination procedure alone caused cessation of mating flights and triggered ovary activation, with insemination volume contributing to increased ovary activation. Hierarchical clustering grouped queens primarily by insemination substance and then insemination volume, suggesting that while volume may trigger short-term physiological changes, substance plays a greater role in regulating long-term transcriptional changes. There was considerable but not a complete overlap in the gene pathways regulated by these two factors. Comparisons with gene lists from previous studies on queen mating revealed that several of the same biological processes and pathways were regulated, but only one gene (defensin) was found to be regulated in all studies. Our results suggest that both insemination substance and volume trigger molecular post-mating changes by altering overlapping gene pathways involved in honey bee reproduction.
transcription profiling by array, co-expression, compound treatment, dye swap, innate behavior, loop, physiological process
Differential effects of insemination volume and substance on reproductive changes in honey bee queens (Apis mellifera L.). Elina L. Niño, David R. Tarpy, and Christina M. Grozinger. Insect Molecular Biology (2013)