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Vitellogenin in Honey Bee Behavior and Lifespan

Abstract

Vitellogenin is a phospholipoglycoprotein that affects multiple aspects of honey bee life-history. Across the vast majority of oviparous taxa, vitellogenins are female-specific egg yolk proteins, with their essential function tied to oogenesis. In honey bees, however, vitellogenin is also expressed by female helpers, called workers, which are largely sterile. Here, vitellogenin influences behavior and stress resilience, and is believed to be important to honey bee social organization. Together with longtime collaborators, we have discovered roles of vitellogenin in worker behavioral traits such as nursing, foraging onset and foraging bias, and in survival traits such as oxidative stress resilience, cell-based immunity, and longevity. We have also identified a mutually inhibitory interaction between vitellogenin and the systemic endocrine factor juvenile hormone (JH), which is central to insect reproduction and stress response. This regulatory feedback loop has spurred hypotheses on how vitellogenin and JH together have become key life-history regulators in honey bees. A current research focus is on how this feedback loop is tied to nutrient-sensing insulin/insulin-like signaling that can govern expression of phenotypic plasticity. Here, we summarize this body of work in the context of new structural speculations that can lead to a modern understanding of vitellogenin function.

Keywords

  • Juvenile Hormone
  • Ethyl Oleate
  • Stress Resilience
  • Vitellogenin Gene
  • Vitellogenin Synthesis

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-2099-2_2
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Abbreviations

DRH:

Double repressor hypothesis

JH:

Juvenile hormone

RGPH:

Reproductive ground plan hypothesis

Vg:

Vitellogenin

vWFD:

von Willebrand factor D-type

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Correspondence to Gro V. Amdam .

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Amdam, G.V., Fennern, E., Havukainen, H. (2012). Vitellogenin in Honey Bee Behavior and Lifespan. In: Galizia, C., Eisenhardt, D., Giurfa, M. (eds) Honeybee Neurobiology and Behavior. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-2099-2_2

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