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Keywords:

  • honeybee;
  • caste;
  • brain;
  • mushroom body;
  • ovary;
  • ecdysteroid

Abstract

To facilitate studies of hormonal control in the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.), a cDNA for a honeybee homologue of the ecdysteroid-regulated gene E74 (AmE74) was isolated and its expression was analysed. Northern blot analysis indicated strong expression in the adult queen abdomen, and no significant expression in the adult drone and worker abdomens. In situ hybridization demonstrated that this gene was expressed selectively in the ovary and gut in the queen abdomen. Furthermore, this gene was also expressed selectively in subsets of mushroom body interneurones in the brain of the adult worker bees. These findings suggest that AmE74 is involved in neural function as well as in reproduction in adult honeybees.