Report

Nutritional Control of Reproductive Status in Honeybees via DNA Methylation

Science  28 Mar 2008:
Vol. 319, Issue 5871, pp. 1827-1830
DOI: 10.1126/science.1153069

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Via your Institution

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


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.

    View Full Text

    Related Content