Monday, August 17, 2015

Honeybee development puzzled out by proteomics and verified by knockout!

I'm going to be perfectly honest here. I know nothing about honeybees. Not a thing. I know there aren't as many of them as there were before(?) and I know David Tennant's Dr. Who didn't seem to know why that was. I did however have an impressively scary experience with what I think were honeybees this weekend when thousands of them descended on what I thought was a hummingbird feeder and this seemed too coincidental to pass up on.  (They drained an 8 ounce container of hummingbird food in minutes.  It was amazing. May repeat and film when I get home!)

Anywho!  In this study, a label free proteomics approach was used to analyze the differences between honeybees as they differentiate into one type or another. Turns out they found some key upregulations in the bigger bees (drones?) and the smaller ones (with royal names). The differentiated proteins made sense as smaller bees had a whole lot less of the cytoskeletal construction proteins than the larger dumb bees.  In an interesting follow-up, they uses interfering RNA on one of the proteins in this pathway and totally messed a bee up!  You can read this article in ASAP JPR here!

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