Nutritional Control of Reproductive Status in Honeybees via DNA Methylation

Date

2008

Authors

Kucharski, Robert
Maleszka, Joanna
Foret, Sylvain
Maleszka, Ryszard

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Abstract

Fertile queens and sterile workers are alternative forms of the adult female honeybee that develop from genetically identical larvae following differential feeding with royal jelly. We show that silencing the expression of DNA methyltransferase Dnmt3, a key driver of epigenetic global reprogramming, in newly hatched larvae led to a royal jelly-like effect on the larval developmental trajectory; the majority of Dnmt3 small interfering RNA-treated individuals emerged as queens with fully developed ovaries. Our results suggest that DNA methylation in Apis is used for storing epigenetic information, that the use of that information can be differentially altered by nutritional input, and that the flexibility of epigenetic modifications underpins, profound shifts in developmental fates, with massive implications for reproductive and behavioral status.

Description

Keywords

Keywords: DNA; DNA methyltransferase; royal jelly; small interfering RNA; behavior; DNA; emergence; enzyme activity; gene expression; honeybee; larval development; methylation; nutrition; queen; reproductive status; RNA; worker caste; animal behavior; animal experi

Citation

Source

Science

Type

Journal article

Book Title

Entity type

Access Statement

License Rights

DOI

10.1126/science.1153069

Restricted until

2037-12-31