Navigation Links
Researchers identify new components of the epigenetic 'code' for honey bee development
Date:12/11/2012

Researchers from the UK and Australia have uncovered a new element of the honeybee's genetic makeup, which may help to explain why bees are so sensitive to environmental changes.

Scientists from the University of Sheffield, Queen Mary, University of London and the Australian National University, have found that honeybees have a 'histone code' a series of marks on the histone proteins around which their DNA is wrapped in order to fit into the nucleus of a cell. This code is known to exist in humans and other complex organisms in order to control changes in cell development but this is the first time it's been discovered in the honeybee. Histone codes can also be affected by nutrition and environmental factors, so the scientists believe the finding may be another part of the puzzle to explain how eating royal jelly ensures honeybee larvae turn into queens and not workers.

"The development of different bees from the same DNA in the larvae is one of the clearest examples of epigenetics in action mechanisms that go beyond the basic DNA sequence," explains Dr Mark Dickman from the University of Sheffield's Faculty of Engineering. "From our knowledge of how the histone code works in other organisms, we think that the marks on the histone proteins might act as one of the switches that control how the larvae develop."

The scientists believe their findings will open the door to further study of the interplay between environment, nutrition and how the honey bee develops. The first step will be to identify exactly how larval diet influences the histone code to ensure development into either a queen or a sterile worker.

But the potential impact is much wider, as Dr Paul Hurd, from Queen Mary's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, explains; "Indirect dietary-mediated effects are also of particular relevance to insect pollinators. Prime examples are from systemic pesticides used on agricultural crops, which accumulate inside nectar and pollen and therefore enter honey bee diet, in some cases with detrimental effect. By studying the impact of diet and particular chemicals on the histone code during honey bee development and behaviour, we may be able to identify how certain pesticides contribute to the decline of some colonies."

Professor Maleszka of the Australian National University adds; "We really need to begin looking beyond classical genetics to understand many of the current problems honey bees face including Colony Collapse Disorder. There are rarely single genes that cause a given disease; it's more often interactions between a number of genes that's heavily influenced by environmental factors. Histone codes are flexible and have the capacity to act as an interface between genome and environment".


'/>"/>

Contact: Beck Lockwood
beck@campuspr.co.uk
University of Sheffield
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study by UC Santa Barbara researchers suggests that bacteria communicate by touch
2. UC Santa Barbara researchers discover genetic link between visual pathways of hydras and humans
3. Researchers attempt to solve problems of antibiotic resistance and bee deaths in one
4. UNH researchers find African farmers need better climate change data to improve farming practices
5. Ottawa researchers to lead world-first clinical trial of stem cell therapy for septic shock
6. Researchers uncover molecular pathway through which common yeast becomes fungal pathogen
7. Researchers print live cells with a standard inkjet printer
8. Columbia Engineering and Penn researchers increase speed of single-molecule measurements
9. Researchers reveal how a single gene mutation leads to uncontrolled obesity
10. Researchers discover novel therapy for Crohns disease
11. New paper by Notre Dame researchers describes method for cleaning up nuclear waste
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 4, 2017 KEY FINDINGS ... anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 25.76% during ... diseases is the primary factor for the growth of ... report: https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4807905/ MARKET INSIGHTS The global ... product, technology, application, and geography. The stem cell market ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... -- Trends, opportunities and forecast in this market to ... AFIS, iris recognition, facial recognition, hand geometry, vein recognition, ... industry (government and law enforcement, commercial and retail, health ... and by region ( North America , ... , and the Rest of the World) ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Biometric Vehicle ... around 15.1% over the next decade to reach approximately $1,580 million ... estimates and forecasts for all the given segments on global as ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... today announced the three Winners and six Finalists of the 2017 Blavatnik Regional ... by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and administered by the New York Academy of ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... ... ... (https://www.onramp.bio/ ) has launched Rosalind™, the first-ever genomics analysis platform specifically ... all bioinformatics complexity. Named in honor of pioneering researcher Rosalind Franklin, who ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... it will be hosting a Webinar titled, “Pathology is going digital. Is your ... on digital pathology adoption best practices and how Proscia improves lab economics and ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Singh Biotechnology today announced ... to SBT-100, its novel anti-STAT3 (Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3) B ... to cross the cell membrane and bind intracellular STAT3 and inhibit its function. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: