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EGFR gene methylation is not involved in Royalactin controlled phenotypic polymorphism in honey bees

Kucharski, Robert; Foret, Sylvain; Maleszka, Ryszard

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The 2011 highly publicised Nature paper by Kamakura on honeybee phenotypic dimorphism, (also using Drosophila as an experimental surrogate), claims that a single protein in royal jelly, Royalactin, essentially acts as a master "on-off" switch in development via the epidermal growth factor receptor (AmEGFR), to seal the fate of queen or worker. One mechanism proposed in that study as important for the action of Royalactin is differential amegfr methylation in alternate organismal outcomes....[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorKucharski, Robert
dc.contributor.authorForet, Sylvain
dc.contributor.authorMaleszka, Ryszard
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-13T22:23:07Z
dc.identifier.issn2045-2322
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/72602
dc.description.abstractThe 2011 highly publicised Nature paper by Kamakura on honeybee phenotypic dimorphism, (also using Drosophila as an experimental surrogate), claims that a single protein in royal jelly, Royalactin, essentially acts as a master "on-off" switch in development via the epidermal growth factor receptor (AmEGFR), to seal the fate of queen or worker. One mechanism proposed in that study as important for the action of Royalactin is differential amegfr methylation in alternate organismal outcomes. According to the author differential methylation of amegfr was experimentally confirmed and shown in a supportive figure. Here we have conducted an extensive analysis of the honeybee egfr locus and show that this gene is never methylated. We discuss several lines of evidence casting serious doubts on the amegfr methylation result in the 2011 paper and consider possible origins of the author's statement. In a broader context, we discuss the implication of our findings for contrasting context-dependent regulation of EGFR in three insect species, Apis mellifera, D. melanogaster and the carpenter ant, Camponotus floridanus, and argue that more adequate methylation data scrutiny measures are needed to avoid unwarranted conclusions.
dc.publisherNature Publishing Group
dc.rightsAuthor/s retain copyright
dc.sourceScientific Reports
dc.titleEGFR gene methylation is not involved in Royalactin controlled phenotypic polymorphism in honey bees
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume5
dc.date.issued2015
local.identifier.absfor060400 - GENETICS
local.identifier.absfor060409 - Molecular Evolution
local.identifier.absfor060800 - ZOOLOGY
local.identifier.ariespublicationa383154xPUB3330
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationKucharski, Robert, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationForet, Sylvain, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationMaleszka, Ryszard, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage1
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage6
local.identifier.doi10.1038/srep14070
local.identifier.absseo970106 - Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
dc.date.updated2015-12-11T08:02:39Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-84941367023
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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