Opsin expression patterns coincide with photoreceptor development during pupal development in the honey bee, Apis mellifera

Please always quote using this URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:20-opus-175665
  • Background: The compound eyes of insects allow them to catch photons and convert the energy into electric signals. All compound eyes consist of numerous ommatidia, each comprising a fixed number of photoreceptors. Different ommatidial types are characterized by a specific set of photoreceptors differing in spectral sensitivity. In honey bees, males and females possess different ommatidial types forming distinct retinal mosaics. However, data are lacking on retinal ontogeny and the mechanisms by which the eyes are patterned. In this study, weBackground: The compound eyes of insects allow them to catch photons and convert the energy into electric signals. All compound eyes consist of numerous ommatidia, each comprising a fixed number of photoreceptors. Different ommatidial types are characterized by a specific set of photoreceptors differing in spectral sensitivity. In honey bees, males and females possess different ommatidial types forming distinct retinal mosaics. However, data are lacking on retinal ontogeny and the mechanisms by which the eyes are patterned. In this study, we investigated the intrinsic temporal and circadian expression patterns of the opsins that give rise to the ultraviolet, blue and green sensitive photoreceptors, as well as the morphological maturation of the retina during pupal development of honey bees. Results: qPCR and histological labeling revealed that temporal opsin mRNA expression differs between sexes and correlates with rhabdom elongation during photoreceptor development. In the first half of the pupal stage, when the rhabdoms of the photoreceptors are still short, worker and (dorsal) drone retinae exhibit similar expression patterns with relatively high levels of UV (UVop) and only marginal levels of blue (BLop) and green (Lop1) opsin mRNA. In the second half of pupation, when photoreceptors and rhabdoms elongate, opsin expression in workers becomes dominated by Lop1 mRNA. In contrast, the dorsal drone eye shows high expression levels of UVop and BLop mRNA, whereas Lop1 mRNA level decreases. Interestingly, opsin expression levels increase up to 22-fold during early adult life. We also found evidence that opsin expression in adult bees is under the control of the endogenous clock. Conclusions: Our data indicate that the formation of the sex-specific retinal composition of photoreceptors takes place during the second half of the pupal development, and that opsin mRNA expression levels continue to increase in young bees, which stands in contrast to Drosophila, where the highest expression levels are found during the late pupal stage and remain constant in adults. From an evolutionary perspective, we hypothesize that the delayed retinal maturation during the early adult phase is linked to the delayed transition from indoor to outdoor activities in bees, when vision becomes important.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author: Leonie LichtensteinORCiD, Kornelia Grübel, Johannes Spaethe
URN:urn:nbn:de:bvb:20-opus-175665
Document Type:Journal article
Faculties:Fakultät für Biologie / Theodor-Boveri-Institut für Biowissenschaften
Language:English
Parent Title (English):BMC Developmental Biology
Year of Completion:2018
Volume:18
Issue:1
Source:BMC Developmental Biology (2018) 18:1. DOI: 10.1186/s12861-018-0162-8
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/s12861-018-0162-8
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 59 Tiere (Zoologie) / 595 Arthropoden (Gliederfüßer)
Tag:behavioral transition; insect vision; photoreceptor; spectral sensitivity; visual pigments
Release Date:2019/02/06
Licence (German):License LogoCC BY: Creative-Commons-Lizenz: Namensnennung 4.0 International