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Age-dependent transcriptional and epigenomic responses to light exposure in the honey bee brain

Becker, Nils; Kucharski, Robert; Rössler, Wolfgang; Maleszka, Ryszard

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Light is a powerful environmental stimulus of special importance in social honey bees that undergo a behavioral transition from in-hive to outdoor foraging duties. Our previous work has shown that light exposure induces structural neuronal plasticity in the mushroom bodies (MBs), a brain center implicated in processing inputs from sensory modalities. Here, we extended these analyses to the molecular level to unravel light-induced transcriptomic and epigenomic changes in the honey bee brain. We...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorBecker, Nils
dc.contributor.authorKucharski, Robert
dc.contributor.authorRössler, Wolfgang
dc.contributor.authorMaleszka, Ryszard
dc.date.accessioned2016-09-18T23:48:30Z
dc.date.available2016-09-18T23:48:30Z
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/108897
dc.description.abstractLight is a powerful environmental stimulus of special importance in social honey bees that undergo a behavioral transition from in-hive to outdoor foraging duties. Our previous work has shown that light exposure induces structural neuronal plasticity in the mushroom bodies (MBs), a brain center implicated in processing inputs from sensory modalities. Here, we extended these analyses to the molecular level to unravel light-induced transcriptomic and epigenomic changes in the honey bee brain. We have compared gene expression in brain compartments of 1- and 7-day-old light-exposed honey bees with age-matched dark-kept individuals. We have found a number of differentially expressed genes (DEGs), both novel and conserved, including several genes with reported roles in neuronal plasticity. Most of the DEGs show age-related changes in the amplitude of light-induced expression and are likely to be both developmentally and environmentally regulated. Some of the DEGs are either known to be methylated or are implicated in epigenetic processes suggesting that responses to light exposure are at least partly regulated at the epigenome level. Consistent with this idea light alters the DNA methylation pattern of bgm, one of the DEGs affected by light exposure, and the expression of microRNA miR-932. This confirms the usefulness of our approach to identify candidate genes for neuronal plasticity and provides evidence for the role of epigenetic processes in driving the molecular responses to visual stimulation.
dc.description.sponsorshipThe work was funded by the Wurzburg Graduate School of Life Sciences (GSLS), the National Health and Medical Research Council grant APP1050593 awarded to RM, the DFG grant SFB 1047 ‘Insect Timing’ (B6) to WR, and the Open Access Publication Fund of the University of W€urzburg.
dc.format18 pages
dc.publisherWiley Open Access
dc.rights© 2016 The Authors. Published by FEBS Press and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
dc.sourceFEBS open bio
dc.subjectdna methylation
dc.subjectinsect brain
dc.subjectlight‐induced gene expression
dc.subjectmicrorna
dc.subjectneuronal plasticity
dc.titleAge-dependent transcriptional and epigenomic responses to light exposure in the honey bee brain
dc.typeJournal article
local.identifier.citationvolume6
dcterms.dateAccepted2016-05-09
dc.date.issued2016-07
local.publisher.urlhttp://www.wileyopenaccess.com/
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationKucharski, Robert, Division of Evolution, Ecology & Genetics, CMBE Research School of Biology, The Australian National University
local.contributor.affiliationMaleszka, Ryszard, Ecology & Genetics, CMBE Research School of Biology, The Australian National University
local.identifier.essn2211-5463
local.bibliographicCitation.issue7
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage622
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage639
local.identifier.doi10.1002/2211-5463.12084
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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