Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 290–297 | Cite as

The Family of Major Royal Jelly Proteins and Its Evolution

  • Stefan  Albert
  • Debashish  Bhattacharya
  • Jaroslav  Klaudiny
  • Jana  Schmitzová
  • Jozef  Simúth

Abstract.

A cDNA encoding a new member of the gene family of major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs) from the honeybee, Apis mellifera, was isolated and sequenced. Royal jelly (RJ) is a secretion of the cephalic glands of nurse bees. The origin and biological function of the protein component (12.5%, w/w) of RJ is unknown. We show that the MRJP gene family encodes a group of closely related proteins that share a common evolutionary origin with the yellow protein of Drosophila melanogaster. Yellow protein functions in cuticle pigmentation in D. melanogaster. The MRJPs appear to have evolved a novel nutritional function in the honeybee.

Key words:Apis mellifera— Gene duplication — Nitrogen content — Royal jelly — Nutrition 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan  Albert
    • 1
  • Debashish  Bhattacharya
    • 2
  • Jaroslav  Klaudiny
    • 1
  • Jana  Schmitzová
    • 1
  • Jozef  Simúth
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Genetic Engineering, Institute of Chemistry, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dúbravská cesta 9, SK-842 38 Bratislava, SlovakiaCS
  2. 2.University of Iowa, Department of Biological Sciences, 239 Biology Building, Iowa City, IA 52242-1324, USAUS

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