Free Access
Volume 38, Number 5, September-October 2007
Page(s) 462 - 471
Published online 06 November 2007
Apidologie 38 (2007) 462-471
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2007035

Ultraspiracle of the stingless bees Melipona scutellaris and Scaptotrigona depilis: cDNA sequence and expression profiles during pupal development

Aline Carolina Aleixo Silva Telesa, Tathyana Rachel Palo Melloa, Angel Roberto Barchukb, a and Zilá Luz Paulino Simõesa

a  Depto. de Biologia, Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
b  Depto. Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Alfenas. Rua Gabriel Monteiro Silva 714 - Cep 37130-000 Campus Unifal, Alfenas, Minas Gerais, Brazil

(Received 15 January 2007 - Revised 11 June 2007 - Accepted 19 June 2007 - Published online 6 November 2007)

Abstract - Reproduction and development in insects and caste differentiation in bees are mainly governed by ecdysteroids and juvenile hormone. We characterized the ultraspiracle (nuclear hormone receptor) cDNA of the highly social bees Melipona scutellaris and Scaptotrigona depilis. The predicted Usp proteins (with 427aa) show a greater sequence similarity to its orthologs from the "ApLoTe" group than to the dipteran-lepidopteran group, suggesting that Usp proteins included in the bee group might share functional characteristics. The expression profiles in fat bodies (FB) and brains turned out not to be very similar between the species. In M. scutellaris FB and brain and in S. depilis brain usp expression anti-parallels pupal ecdysteroid titers, thus suggesting a repression of usp expression by this hormone.

Key words: ultraspiracle / juvenile hormone / ecdysone / vitellogenin / fat body / brain / Apidae

© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2007