Eur. J. Entomol. 114: 195-202, 2017 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2017.024

Expression of heat-shock protein genes in Apis mellifera meda (Hymenoptera: Apidae) after exposure to monoterpenoids and infestation by Varroa destructor mites (Acari: Varroidae)

Najmeh SAHEBZADEH1, Wei Hong LAU2
1 Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zabol, Zabol, Iran; e-mails: najmeh.sahebzadeh@gmail.com, n.sahebzadeh@uoz.ac.ir
2 Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Malaysia; e-mail: lauweih@upm.edu.my

Heat shock proteins (hsps) protect proteins in eukaryotic cells from damage. Expression of hsps in insects subject to different environmental stimuli is poorly characterized. Here, levels of expression of the hsps genes (hsp40, hsp70, and hsp90) were recorded in Apis mellifera Linnaeus (Hymenoptera: Apidae) workers after exposure to sublethal concentrations of thymol, eucalyptol, α-pinene, trans-anethole, diallyl disulfide and infestation with Varroa mites. Our results show a dose-dependent up-regulation in the levels of all the hsps tested after the bees were treated with thymol, eucalyptol and α-pinene. Although these up-regulated expressions were statistically significant for hsp70 and hsp90 when the bees were treated with thymol and eucalyptol, they were not significant when treated with α-pinene. In addition, significant down-regulated expressions of the hsp genes were recorded in the diallyl disulfide treatment. The transcriptions of all the hsps tested were significantly down-regulated when pupae were infested with different numbers (0-5) of Varroa mites. Thus, it is likely that hsps can be used as biomarkers of survival when honey bees are under toxic and pathogenic stress, but this needs to be confirmed.

Keywords: Apidae, Apis mellifera meda, honey bee, gene expression, heat shock protein, stress, survival, Varroa destructor

Received: August 6, 2016; Accepted: March 14, 2017; Published online: April 7, 2017Show citation

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SAHEBZADEH, N., & LAU, W.H. (2017). Expression of heat-shock protein genes in Apis mellifera meda (Hymenoptera: Apidae) after exposure to monoterpenoids and infestation by Varroa destructor mites (Acari: Varroidae). Eur. J. Entomol.114(1), 2017.000. doi: 10.14411/eje.2017.024.
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