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This week in Molecular Biology and Evolution: A step ahead of influenza, honeybee sex
Date:10/29/2013

to avoid the spread of dual resistance, which is already circulating in H1N1 viruses in humans. "Our results also suggest that most of the mutations leading to influenza drug resistance are on the wane, so that recent efforts in controlling drug use are paying off, but we should remain vigilant," commented Stphane Aris-Brosou.

Everything you wanted to know about honeybee sex

There is an exquisite genetic control behind a honeybee's fate in the hive---from the lowly drone to the almighty queen---which literally, represents the bees knees for evolutionary scientists exploring how multiple mutations, or alleles, of a single gene called the complementary sex determiner (csd) can have a profound influence on honeybee society.

Unlike people, there are no X and Y sex chromosomes for bees. Rather, sex is determined by a single gene csd and its allelic composition and whether or not a queen bee choses to fertilize her eggs. Female bees (queens or workers) come from fertilized eggs, receiving always two different (heterozygote) copies of csd. Fertile males always come from unfertilized eggs, receiving only one copy of csd. Two identical (homozygote) copies of csd in fertilized eggs is always lethal; these individuals are being killed at the early larval stage by worker bees as they would develop into diploid males which do not contribute to colony fitness.

Lechner, et al., have now examined the exquisite molecular control behind the sex determination, finely identifying and tracing back a comprehensive number of csd alleles to create a richer understanding of the variability of the csd gene over evolutionary time. They looked at a data set of 244 csd sequences from queens, worker bees and drones, and showed that the total number of csd alleles found in bees ranges from at least 53 (locally) to 87 (worldwide), which is much higher than previously reported (20). Using an evolutionary model, they also extrapolated the presence of tota
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Contact: Joe Caspemeyer
MBEpress@gmail.com
480-258-8972
Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press)
Source:Eurekalert

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