Send to

Choose Destination
Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2003 Apr;33(4):459-65.

The vitellogenin of the honey bee, Apis mellifera: structural analysis of the cDNA and expression studies.

Author information

Department of Physiology and Molecular Biodiversity, Institut de Biologia Molecular de Barcelona (CSIC), Jordi Girona 18, 08034 Barcelona, Spain.


The cDNA of Apis mellifera vitellogenin was cloned and sequenced. It is 5440 bp long and contains an ORF of 1770 amino acids (including a putative signal peptide of 16 residues). The deduced amino acid sequence shows significant similarity with other hymenopteran vitellogenins (58% with Pimpla nipponica and 54% with Athalia rosae). The alignment with 19 insect vitellogenins shows a high number of conserved motifs; for example, close to the C-terminus there is a GL/ICG motif followed by nine cysteines, as occurs in all hymenopteran species, and, as in other insect vitellogenins, a DGXR motif is located 18 residues upstream the GL/ICG motif. Phylogenetic analysis of vitellogenin sequences available in insects gave a tree that is congruent with the currently accepted insect phylogenetic schemes. Using two fragments of the vitellogenin cDNA as probes, we analyzed by Northern blot the sex- and caste-specific patterns of vitellogenin expression in pupae and adults of A. mellifera. In queens, vitellogenin mRNA was first detected in mid-late pupal stage, whereas in workers it was first detected in late pupal stage. Vitellogenin mRNA was also observed in drones, although it was first detected not in pupae but in freshly molted adults.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center