We examined the influence of caffeine on honeybee lifespan, Nosema resistance, key enzyme activities, metabolic compound concentrations, and total DNA methylation levels. Caffeine slowed age-related metabolic tendencies. Bees that consumed caffeine lived longer and were not infested with Nosema spp. Caffeine-treated workers had higher protein concentrations. The levels increased with aging but they then decreased in older bees. Caffeine increased the activities of antioxidant enzymes (SOD, GPx, CAT, GST), AST, ALT, ALP, neutral proteases, and protease inhibitors, and the concentrations of uric acid, triglycerides, cholesterol, glucose, and Ca2+. Acidic and alkaline protease activities were lower in the bees treated with caffeine. Creatinine and Mg2+ concentrations were higher in the caffeine-treated workers but only up to 14 days of age. Caffeine significantly decreased DNA methylation levels in older bees. The compound could be considered as a natural diet supplement increasing apian resistance to stress factors. Our studies will enhance possibilities of using Apis mellifera as a model organism in gerontological studies.
Natural bioactive preparations that will boost apian resistance, aid body detoxification, or fight crucial bee diseases are in demand. Therefore, we examined the influence of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10, 2,3-dimethoxy, 5-methyl, 6-decaprenyl benzoquinone) treatment on honeybee lifespan, Nosema resistance, the activity/concentration of antioxidants, proteases and protease inhibitors, and biomarkers. CoQ10 slows age-related metabolic processes. Workers that consumed CoQ10 lived longer than untreated controls and were less infested with Nosema spp. Relative to controls, the CoQ10-treated workers had higher protein concentrations that increased with age but then they decreased in older bees. CoQ10 treatments increased the activities of antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, GPx, catalase, glutathione S-transferase), protease inhibitors, biomarkers (aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransferase), the total antioxidant potential level, and concentrations of uric acid and creatinine. The activities of acidic, neutral, and alkaline proteases, and concentrations of albumin and urea were lower in the bees that were administered CoQ10. CoQ10 could be taken into consideration as a natural diet supplement in early spring before pollen sources become available in the temperate Central European climate. A response to CoQ10 administration that is similar to mammals supports our view that Apis mellifera is a model organism for biochemical gerontology.
We examined age-related biochemical and histological changes in the fat bodies and hemolymph of Osmia rufa males and females. We analysed solitary bees during diapause, in October and in April; as well as the flying insects following diapause, in May and June. The trophocyte sizes, as well as the numbers of lipid droplets were the greatest at the beginning of diapause. Subsequently, they decreased along with age. Triglyceride and glucose concentrations systematically decreased in fat body cells but increased in the hemolymph from October to June. Concentrations/activities of (enzymatic and non-enzymatic) antioxidant and proteolytic systems, as well as phenoloxidase, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase levels were constant during the diapause, usually lower in the males than the females. Prior to the diapause/overwintering, the concentrations/activities of all the compounds were higher in the fat bodies than in the hemolymph. Later in the spring and in the summer, they increased in the hemolymph and on the body surfaces, while decreasing in the fat bodies. The global DNA methylation levels increased with age. Higher levels were always observed in the males than in the females. The study will promote better understanding of bee evolution and will be useful for the protection and management of solitary bees, with benefits to the environment and agriculture.
S u m m a r y Three groups of caged bees were fed with sugar syrup (the control), sugar syrup supplemented with amphotericin B (AmB) in a dose of 0.5 mg/ml, and sugar syrup with AmB in a dose of 0.25 mg/ ml. Amphotericin B shortened the life span of the bees and reduced the level of global DNA methylation compared to the control, however, it increased the body-surface protein concentrations. In the hindguts of the bees, there were found AmB deposits. Honeybees appear to be a useful model for studying the side effects of anti-fungal AmB therapy. Among other things, epigenetic changes and senescence acceleration are considered to be the side effects of the therapy.
Evolution has created different castes of females in eusocial haplodiploids. The difference between them lies in their functions and vulnerability but above all in their reproductive potentials. Honeybee queens are highly fertile. On the other hand, the workers are facultatively sterile. However, rebel workers, i.e. workers that develop in a queenless colony, reproduce more often than normal workers. As a result, the fat body of these bees, which apart from acting as the energy reserve, is also the site of numerous metabolic processes, had to specialize in different functions perfected over millions of years of eusocial evolution. Assuming that the variety of functions manifests itself in the pleomorphic structure of the fat body cells, we predicted that also different parts of the fat body, e.g. from different segments of the abdomen, contain different sets of cells. Such differences could be expected between queens, rebels and normal workers, i.e. females with dramatically different reproductive potentials. We confirmed all these expectations. Although all bees had the same types of cells, their proportion and segmental character corresponded with the caste reproductive potential and physiological characteristics shaped in the evolutionary process. The females with an increased reproductive potential were characterized by the presence of oenocytes in the third tergite and high concentrations of compounds responsible for energy reserves, like glucose, glycogen and triglycerides. Queens had very large trophocytes, especially in the third tergite. Only in workers did we observe intercellular spaces in all the segments of the fat body, as well as high protein concentrations—especially in the sternite. As expected, the rebels combined many features of the queens and normal workers, what with other findings can help understand the ways that led to the origin of different castes in females of eusocial Hymenoptera.
a b s t r a c t Body-surface chemical compounds were studied in 1-day-old nest workers and foragers both in Buckfast and caucasian bees. the workers of these two age-castes were sampled twice in each of two consecutive years. Body-surface lipids were determined by means of gas chromatography, with a GcQ mass spectrometer. protein concentrations and activities on the body surface were examined in bee cuticle rinsings obtained from worker bees according to the methods of Lowry, of anson, and of Lee and Lin. protease and protease inhibitor activities were determined. polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis was performed. caucasian bees, particularly foragers, had more lipids, but Buckfast bees (two age-castes) had more proteins on their body surfaces. a total of 17 alkane types (c17 -c33), 13 alkene types (c21 -c33), 21 esters (c12 -c32), and a phenol (c14) were detected in both races. alkene c33 was detected only in caucasian bees. more alkanes, esters, and phenols were found in caucasian 1-day-old nest workers and foragers than in these age-castes of Buckfast bees. the protein concentration and protease inhibitor activities were lower in caucasian bees that had higher protease activities. these values corresponded with specific numbers and widths of the electrophoretic bands.
A b stract. Presented in the paper are data on the structure of CanLhariclae com m unities of pine forests from four regions of Poland. 23 species were registered in the forests studied. 22 of them were found in canopies of pines and 14 were caught in the herb layer. In the canopy layer, the dom inant sp ecies were: Cantharis obscura, Rhagonychn lignosa. RKelongata, Rh. alra, M althodespum ilus. The sp ecies m ost abundant in the herb layer were: Rhngongcha lignosa, Malthinns panctatxis, Silis nitidula.
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