International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI2018), August 5-10, 2018 in Guarujá, Brazil.

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Honeybee epitranscriptome machinery and its plasticity in relation to aging, nutrition and tissues

Author(s):
Luana Bataglia, Luana Bataglia , Marcela Aparecida Framartino Bezerra Laure , Zilá Luz Paulino Simões , Francis Morais Franco Nunes
Institution(s):
Departamento de Genética, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil; Departamento de Genética, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil ; Departamento de Genética, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil ; Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil ; Departamento de Genética e Evolução, Universidade Federal de São Carlos, São Carlos, Brazil
Not only chronological age but also nutritional and socio-behavioral context regulate worker lifespan. In-hive tasks performed by younger workers are supported by consumption of protein-rich diets, while older workers depend on carbohydrate intake to forage. The brain and the fat body interpret the nutritional signals and consequently alter gene expression and physiology accordingly. This scenario of phenotypic plasticity suggests the existence of biological circuits that integrate the crosstalk between tissues, gene regulatory networks and metabolism. Similarly, RNA modifications such as methylation m6A (N-6 methyladenosine) and m5C (5-methylcytosine) have been shown to be responsive to environmental changes and to control development and longevity. To date, there is no evidence of the existence of epitranscriptome machinery in social insects, including Apis mellifera. Thus, we aimedto identify m5C and m6A related genes in the Apis mellifera genome and to investigate if age (8 versus 29 days) or nutrition (protein versus non-protein diets) influence methyltransferases expression profiles and m6A levels in worker brains and fat bodies. Based on 40 human genes (DNMT, NSUN, METTL, KIAA1429, WTAP families) found in the HGNC platform, we identified 29 honeybee orthologs supported by RNA-seq public data (TSA-NCBI). Additionally, these genes were also found in the genomes of Drosophila melanogaster, corbiculate and solitary bee species. Age and nutrition did not affect m6A levels and gene expression, but differences were observed between tissues, suggesting roles in maintenance of core cellular functions. Differential expression of m5C methyltransferases were observed in all contexts (test T, p <0.05), showing molecular plasticity of m5C events in response to aging and nutrition, as well as a negative feedback control between tissues. Our data represent the first demonstration of the existence of functional epitranscriptome machinery in Apidae.  CNPq, FAPESP.
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