Free Access
Volume 39, Number 2, March-April 2008
Page(s) 199 - 214
Published online 09 February 2008
Apidologie 39 (2008) 199-214
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2007059

Identification of the proteome complement of hypopharyngeal glands from two strains of honeybees (Apis mellifera)

Jianke Li1, Mao Feng1, Zhaohui Zhang2 and Yinghong Pan2

1  Institute of Apicultural Research, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science, Beijing 100093, China
2  Institute of Crop Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, The National Key Facility for Crop Gene Resources and Genetic Improvement, 12 Zhongguancun Nandajie, Beijing 100081, China

(Received 18 June 2007 - Revised 24 September 2007 - Accepted 26 September 2007 - Published online 9 February 2008)

Abstract - We investigated the protein complement of the hypopharyngeal gland (HG) of winter worker bees from a strain of Apis mellifera artificially selected for increased royal jelly yield and A. m. carnica winter worker bees. Proteins were partially identified using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE). MALDI-TOF MS and protein engine identification tools that were utilized for the honeybee genome. Most identified proteins in the two bees strains were assigned to major royal jelly (RJ) proteins (MRJPs). Marked differences were found in the heterogeneity of the MRJPs, in particular MRJP3. Two of the proteins, $\alpha $-glucosidase and glucose oxidase, were related to carbohydrate metabolism and energy. For the first time in the HG of honeybees, two proteins, peroxiredoxin and thioredoxin peroxidase, which are related to antioxidation functions, and actin 5C, a major cytoskeletal actin protein which may supply enough actin for normal function of cells, have been identified. Results suggest that the HGs serve a storage function in winter and that during the winter period the HG of high RJ producing bees store more proteins than those of Carnica bees.

Key words: Apis mellifera / winter bees / hypopharyngeal gland / proteome

© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2008