Free Access
Volume 36, Number 3, July-September 2005
Page(s) 389 - 401
Published online 07 July 2005
Apidologie 36 (2005) 389-401
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2005026

Molecular cloning and analysis of four cDNAs from the heads of Apis cerana cerana nurse honeybees coding for major royal jelly proteins

Songkun Sua, Stefan Albertb, Shenglu Chena and Boxiong Zhonga

a  Laboratory of Apicultural Research, Animal Science College, Zhejiang University Hangzhou 310029, China
b  Institute of Medical Radiation and Cell Research, University of Würzburg, Versbacherstrasse 5, 97078 Würzburg, Germany

(Received 8 September 2004 - revised 10 January 2005 - accepted 13 January 2005; Published online: 7 July 2005)

Abstract - A cDNA library was constructed from 8-day-old worker heads of Apis cerana cerana. A DIG-labeled probe derived from part of an Apis cerana mrjp3 genomic segment was used to screen the library. One hundred and twenty positive clones were identified and characterized. Thirty one clones were homologous with major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs) of Apis mellifera. The most abundant MRJP homologue was MRJP1 (11 clones), followed by MRJP3 (10 clones), MRJP2 (7 clones) and MRJP5 (3 clones). Clones containing A. cerana cerana MRJP1, MRJP2, MRJP3 and MRJP5 cDNAs were identified, completely sequenced, and analyzed with bioinformatics software. Several lines of evidence suggested that the identified cDNAs code for major royal jelly proteins of A. cerana. In addition to polymorphic regions of MRJP3 and MRJP5, another polymorphic repetitive region was found in AccMRJP2. The polymorphism of AcMRJP2 and AcMRJP5 repeat regions were tested by PCR with genomic DNAs of individual honeybees. Different properties of the repetitive regions of MRJP2 genes in two closely related Apis species were discussed.

Key words: Apis cerana cerana / royal jelly protein / polymorphism / VNTR / midisatellite / Apis mellifera

Corresponding author: Shenglu Chen

© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2005