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Immune pathways and defence mechanisms in honey bees Apis mellifera
Article first published online: 27 OCT 2006
Insect Molecular Biology
Volume 15, Issue 5, pages 645–656, October 2006
How to Cite
Evans, J. D., Aronstein, K., Chen, Y. P., Hetru, C., Imler, J.-L., Jiang, H., Kanost, M., Thompson, G. J., Zou, Z. and Hultmark, D. (2006), Immune pathways and defence mechanisms in honey bees Apis mellifera. Insect Molecular Biology, 15: 645–656. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2583.2006.00682.x
- Issue published online: 27 OCT 2006
- Article first published online: 27 OCT 2006
- Received 14 April 2006; accepted after revision 19 June 2006.
- innate immunity;
- comparative genomics;
- antimicrobial peptide;
- American foulbrood
Social insects are able to mount both group-level and individual defences against pathogens. Here we focus on individual defences, by presenting a genome-wide analysis of immunity in a social insect, the honey bee Apis mellifera. We present honey bee models for each of four signalling pathways associated with immunity, identifying plausible orthologues for nearly all predicted pathway members. When compared to the sequenced Drosophila and Anopheles genomes, honey bees possess roughly one-third as many genes in 17 gene families implicated in insect immunity. We suggest that an implied reduction in immune flexibility in bees reflects either the strength of social barriers to disease, or a tendency for bees to be attacked by a limited set of highly coevolved pathogens.