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Insights into the biochemical defence and methylation of the solitary bee Osmia rufa L: A foundation for examining eusociality development.

PloS one (2017-04-28)
Aneta Strachecka, Jacek Chobotow, Jerzy Paleolog, Aleksandra Łoś, Michał Schulz, Dariusz Teper, Halina Kucharczyk, Maciej Grzybek
ABSTRACT

We examined age-related biochemical and histological changes in the fat bodies and hemolymph of Osmia rufa males and females. We analysed solitary bees during diapause, in October and in April; as well as the flying insects following diapause, in May and June. The trophocyte sizes, as well as the numbers of lipid droplets were the greatest at the beginning of diapause. Subsequently, they decreased along with age. Triglyceride and glucose concentrations systematically decreased in fat body cells but increased in the hemolymph from October to June. Concentrations/activities of (enzymatic and non-enzymatic) antioxidant and proteolytic systems, as well as phenoloxidase, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase levels were constant during the diapause, usually lower in the males than the females. Prior to the diapause/overwintering, the concentrations/activities of all the compounds were higher in the fat bodies than in the hemolymph. Later in the spring and in the summer, they increased in the hemolymph and on the body surfaces, while decreasing in the fat bodies. The global DNA methylation levels increased with age. Higher levels were always observed in the males than in the females. The study will promote better understanding of bee evolution and will be useful for the protection and management of solitary bees, with benefits to the environment and agriculture.

MATERIALS
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Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Imprint® Methylated DNA Quantification Kit, To measure global DNA methylation shifts from as low as 10 ng DNA