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The Asiatic honeybee, Apis cerana Fabricius, is an important honeybee species in Asian countries. It is still found in the wild, but is also one of the few bee species that can be domesticated. It has acquired some genetic advantages and significantly different biological characteristics compared with other Apis species. However, it has been less studied, and over the past two decades, has become a threatened species in China. We designed primers for the sequences of the four antimicrobial peptide cDNA gene families abaecin, defensin, apidaecin, and hymenoptaecin of the Western honeybee, Apis mellifera L. and identified all the antimicrobial peptide cDNA genes in the Asiatic honeybee for the first time. All the sequences were amplified by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction RT-PCR. In all, 29 different defensin cDNA genes coding 7 different defensin peptides, 11 different abaecin cDNA genes coding 2 different abaecin peptides, 13 different apidaecin cDNA genes coding 4 apidaecin peptides and 34 different hymenoptaecin cDNA genes coding 13 different hymenoptaecin peptides were cloned and identified from the Asiatic honeybee adult workers. Detailed comparison of these four antimicrobial peptide gene families with those of the Western honeybee revealed that there are many similarities in the quantity and amino acid components of peptides in the abaecin, defensin and apidaecin families, while many more hymenoptaecin peptides are found in the Asiatic honeybee than those in the Western honeybee 13 versus 1. The results indicated that the Asiatic honeybee adult generated more variable antimicrobial peptides, especially hymenoptaecin peptides than the Western honeybee when stimulated by pathogens or injury. This suggests that, compared to the Western honeybee that has a longer history of domestication, selection on the Asiatic honeybee has favored the generation of more variable antimicrobial peptides as protection against pathogens.



Autor: Peng Xu, Min Shi, Xue-xin Chen

Fuente: http://plos.srce.hr/



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