1. Silencing of Apis mellifera dorsal genes reveals their role in expression of the antimicrobial peptide defensin-1
A P Lourenço, M M Florecki, Z L P Simões, J D Evans Insect Mol Biol. 2018 Oct;27(5):577-589. doi: 10.1111/imb.12498. Epub 2018 Jul 18.
Like all other insects, two key signalling pathways [Toll and immune deficiency (Imd)] regulate the induction of honey bee immune effectors that target microbial pathogens. Amongst these effectors are antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) that are presumed to be produced by the nuclear factors kappa B (NF-κB) Dorsal and Relish from the Toll and Imd pathways, respectively. Using in silico analysis, we previously proposed that the honey bee AMP defensin-1 was regulated by the Toll pathway, whereas hymenoptaecin was regulated by Imd and abaecin by both the Toll and Imd pathways. Here we use an RNA interference (RNAi) assay to determine the role of Dorsal in regulating abaecin and defensin-1. Honey bees have two dorsal genes (dorsal-1 and dorsal-2) and two splicing isoforms of dorsal-1 (dorsal-1A and dorsal-1B). Accordingly, we used both single and multiple (double or triple) isoform knockdown strategies to clarify the roles of dorsal proteins and their isoforms. Down-regulation of defensin-1 was observed for dorsal-1A and dorsal-2 knockdowns, but abaecin expression was not affected by dorsal RNAi. We conclude that defensin-1 is regulated by Dorsal (Toll pathway).
2. Does the Pollen Diet Influence the Production and Expression of Antimicrobial Peptides in Individual Honey Bees?
Jiří Danihlík, Mária Škrabišová, René Lenobel, Marek Šebela, Eslam Omar, Marek Petřivalský, Karl Crailsheim, Robert Brodschneider Insects. 2018 Jul 4;9(3):79. doi: 10.3390/insects9030079.
We investigated the importance of protein nutrition for honey bee immunity. Different protein diets (monofloral pollen of Helianthus spp., Sinapis spp., Asparagus spp., Castanea spp., a mixture of the four different pollen and the pollen substitute FeedbeeTM) were fed to honey bees in cages ad libitum. After 18 days of feeding, apidaecin 1 isoforms concentration in the thorax were measured using nanoflow liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. Expression levels of genes, coding for apidaecins and abaecin in the abdomen were determined using quantitative PCR. The results indicate that protein-containing nutrition in adult worker honey bees can trigger certain metabolic responses. Bees without dietary protein showed lower apidaecin 1 isoforms concentrations. The significantly lowest concentration of apidaecin 1 isoforms was found in the group that was fed no pollen diet when compared to Asparagus, Castanea, Helianthus, and Sinapis pollen or the pollen supplement FeedBeeTM. Expression levels of the respective genes were also affected by the protein diets and different expression levels of these two antimicrobial peptides were found. Positive correlation between concentration and gene expression of apidaecins was found. The significance of feeding bees with different protein diets, as well as the importance of pollen nutrition for honey bee immunity is demonstrated.