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Volume 67, Issue 1


Expression of larval jelly antimicrobial peptide defensin1 in Apis mellifera colonies

Jaroslav Klaudiny / Katarína Bachanová / Lenka Kohútová / Mária Dzúrová / Ján Kopernický
  • Animal Production Research Centre, Institute of Apiculture, Gašperíkova 599, SK-03308, Liptovský Hrádok, Slovakia
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/ Juraj Majtán
  • Institute of Zoology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dúbravská cesta 9, SK-84506, Bratislava, Slovakia
  • Department of Microbiology, Slovak Medical University, Limbová 12, SK-83303, Bratislava, Slovakia
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Published Online: 2012-01-10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-011-0153-8


Honeybee brood food, larval jelly (LJ) contains antimicrobial peptide defensin1 that is able to inhibit in vitro growth of the pathogen causing American foulbrood (AFB). This fact suggests that LJ defensin1 could participate in defense of colonies against AFB. We assume that the potential defense function of defensin1 in vivo might depend on its amount in LJs. Therefore, we investigated the expression of defensin1 in colonies. The expression was examined on protein and mRNA levels in colonies of several Apis mellifera carnica lines collected in 3 apiaries (1 infected with AFB) with the aim to identify factors influencing the expression. Levels of defensin1 were determined in royal and worker jellies by a developed immunoblot procedure employing antibodies generated against the recombinant peptide. Defensin1 mRNA levels in nurse heads were explored by dot blot hybridization using transcript of two MRJP genes for normalization. Analyzed LJs contained various amounts of defensin1 (0.159–0.524 μg/mg jelly). Higher variations in defensin1 levels were observed among LJ samples collected from different colonies than among those collected within single colony. Colonies producing LJs with elevated defensin1 levels occurred among various honeybee lines. Levels of defensin1 mRNA varied in heads of nurses and the variations correlated with defensin1 peptide levels in LJs only in some colonies. Obtained data demonstrate that defensin1 is constitutively expressed into LJs in colonies and indicate that its levels in jellies are determined by genetic factors regulating transcription and/or translation/posttranslation processes in nurses. AFB infection, larval age and type of LJ do not seem to affect the levels of the peptide in LJs. Findings made in this work suggest that it should be possible to breed novel honeybee lines expressing higher amounts of defensin1 into LJs.

Keywords: defensin; honeybee disease; American foulbrood; Paenibacillus larvae; honeybee defense; social immunity; honeybee breeding

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Published Online: 2012-01-10

Published in Print: 2012-02-01

Citation Information: Biologia, Volume 67, Issue 1, Pages 200–211, ISSN (Online) 1336-9563, ISSN (Print) 0006-3088, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-011-0153-8.

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Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2014, Volume 62, Number 38, Page 9305
Marcela Bucekova, Ivana Valachova, Lenka Kohutova, Emanuel Prochazka, Jaroslav Klaudiny, and Juraj Majtan
Naturwissenschaften, 2014, Volume 101, Number 8, Page 661
Juraj Majtan
Wound Repair and Regeneration, 2014, Volume 22, Number 2, Page 187
Lenka Kohútová, Jaroslav Klaudiny, Róbert Nádašdy, Mária Šedivá, Ján Kopernický, and Juraj Majtán
Biologia, 2013, Volume 68, Number 6
Juraj Majtan, Jaroslav Klaudiny, Jana Bohova, Lenka Kohutova, Maria Dzurova, Maria Sediva, Maria Bartosova, and Viktor Majtan
Fitoterapia, 2012, Volume 83, Number 4, Page 671

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