›› 2014, Vol. 57 ›› Issue (2): 248-256.

• 综述 • 上一篇    下一篇


李文峰1, 钟伯雄1, 苏松坤1,2,*   

  1. (1. 浙江大学动物科学学院, 杭州 310052; 2. 福建农林大学蜂学学院, 福州 350002)
  • 出版日期:2014-02-20 发布日期:2014-02-20

Mechanisms of caste differentiation in honey bees

LI Wen-Feng1, ZHONG Bo-Xiong1, SU Song-Kun1, 2,*   

  1. (1. College of Animal Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310052, China; 2. College of Bee Science, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China)
  • Online:2014-02-20 Published:2014-02-20

摘要: 蜜蜂Apis spp.能有效地为多种植物及农作物授粉, 具有重要的经济和生态价值; 蜜蜂作为高度真社会性昆虫, 已成为社会生物学研究的模式生物。社会性昆虫的生殖劳动分工具有重要的进化意义, 而级型分化是形成生殖劳动分工的基础。近年来, 关于蜜蜂级型分化的研究已取得诸多重要成果, 其机理也得到了较为深入的阐释。营养差异引发蜜蜂幼虫的级型分化。蜂王浆中的主要蛋白组分之一——Royalactin是诱导蜂王发育的关键营养因子, 而脂肪体细胞的表皮生长因子受体介导了Royalactin的这种蜂王诱导作用。DNA甲基化是重要的表观遗传机制之一, 且与个体发育和疾病发生紧密相关, 近来的研究表明DNA甲基化在蜜蜂级型分化过程中发挥重要的调控作用。此外, 越来越多的研究进一步深化了人们对内分泌系统调节级型分化作用的认识。本文从关键营养因子调控、 表观遗传调控和内分泌调节3方面综述蜜蜂级型分化的机理, 并对未来的研究提出可能的方向。

关键词: 蜜蜂, 级型分化, 营养因子, Royalactin, 表观遗传机制, DNA甲基化, 内分泌调节

Abstract: Because of the efficient pollination for many natural plants and crops, honey bees (Apis spp.) are of great value in economy and ecology. As a highly eusocial insect, the honey bee has become a model organism in sociobiology. The reproductive division of labor, based on the caste differentiation in social insects is of great significance in evolution. Many important findings about honey bee caste differentiation have been obtained in recent years, and the mechanisms underpinning this process were well elucidated. Different nutritional stimuli trigger the caste differentiation of honey bee larvae. Royalactin, a major protein component of royal jelly, is found to be the key nutritional factor inducing queen development. The queen inducing function of royalactin is mediated by the epidermal growth factor receptors (Egfr) in fat body cells. DNA methylation, one of the important epigenetic mechanisms, is associated with the development and disease of vertebrates. Recently, it is evident that DNA methylation is also involved into the regulation of honey bee caste differentiation. Moreover, more and more findings have deepened people’s understanding of the important regulation roles of endocrine system in the caste differentiation. In this article, we reviewed the mechanisms of honey bee caste differentiation from three aspects, i.e., the key nutritional factors, epigenetic regulation, and endocrine modulation. We also proposed several directions for future studies in this area.

Key words: Honey bee, caste differentiation, nutritional factor, royalactin, epigenetic mechanisms, DNA methylation, endocrinal regulation