Biogenic amine receptor gene expression in the ovarian tissue of the honey bee Apis mellifera

Authors

  • V. Vergoz,

    Corresponding author
    1. Behaviour and Genetics of Social Insects Laboratory, School of Biological Sciences A12, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia
      Vanina Vergoz, Behaviour and Genetics of Social Insects Laboratory, School of Biological Sciences A12, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. Tel.: + 61 29036 5216; fax: +61 29351 4771; e-mail: vanina.vergoz@sydney.edu.au
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  • J. Lim,

    1. Behaviour and Genetics of Social Insects Laboratory, School of Biological Sciences A12, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia
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  • B. P. Oldroyd

    1. Behaviour and Genetics of Social Insects Laboratory, School of Biological Sciences A12, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia
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Vanina Vergoz, Behaviour and Genetics of Social Insects Laboratory, School of Biological Sciences A12, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. Tel.: + 61 29036 5216; fax: +61 29351 4771; e-mail: vanina.vergoz@sydney.edu.au

Abstract

In the honey bee Apis mellifera loss of the queen from a colony induces increased levels of the biogenic amine dopamine in the brain of workers, and this elevation is correlated with ovary activation. In the present study we use real-time quantitative PCR to investigate expression of five biogenic amine receptor genes. We show that biogenic amine receptors are expressed in ovarian tissue, and that their expression is strongly influenced by the presence or absence of a queen in the colony. In contrast to the brain, where all three dopamine receptors are expressed, only two dopamine receptors are expressed in the ovaries, and their expression is strongly correlated with the reproductive status of workers. We conclude that biogenic amine receptors are expressed in the ovaries and are likely to be directly influential in the regulation of worker sterility in honey bees.

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