Cell Stress and Chaperones

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 219–226 | Cite as

Extreme thermotolerance and behavioral induction of 70-kDa heat shock proteins and their encoding genes in honey bees

Short Communication

Abstract

Foraging honey bees frequently leave the hive to gather pollen and nectar for the colony. This period of their lives is marked by periodic extremes of body temperature, metabolic expenditure, and flight muscle activity. Following ecologically relevant episodes of hyperthermia between 33°C and 50°C, heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) expression and hsp70/hsc70-4 activity in brains of nonflying laboratory-held bees increased by only two to three times baseline at temperatures 46–50°C. Induction was undetectable in thoracic–flight muscles. Yet, thorax hsp70 mRNA (but not hsc70-4 mRNA) levels were up to ten times higher in flight-capable hive bees and foraging bees compared to 1-day-old, flight-incapable bees, while brain hsp70/hsc70-4 mRNA levels were low and varied little among behavioral groups. These data suggest honey bee tissues, especially flight muscles, are extremely thermotolerant. Furthermore, Hsp70 expression in the thoraces of flight-capable bees is probably flight-induced by oxidative and mechanical damage to flight muscle proteins rather than temperature.

Keywords

Brain Honey bee Hsp70 Muscle Thermotolerance 

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Copyright information

© Cell Stress Society International 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Life SciencesUniversity of Nevada Las VegasLas VegasUSA

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