TitleIdentification of Complete Repertoire of Apis florea Odorant Receptors Reveals Complex Orthologous Relationships with Apis mellifera.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsKarpe SD, Jain R, Brockmann A, Sowdhamini R
JournalGenome Biol Evol
Date Published2016 Sep 26

We developed a computational pipeline for homology based identification of the complete repertoire of olfactory receptor (OR) genes in the Asian honey bee species, Apis florea Apis florea is phylogenetically the most basal honey bee species and also the most distant sister species to the Western honey bee Apis mellifera, for which all OR genes had been identified before. Using our pipeline, we identified 180 OR genes in A. florea, which is very similar to the number of ORs identified in A. mellifera (177 ORs). Many characteristics of the ORs including gene structure, synteny of tandemly repeated ORs and basic phylogenetic clustering are highly conserved. The composite phylogenetic tree of A. florea and A. mellifera ORs could be divided into 21 clades which are in harmony with the existing Hymenopteran tree. However, we found a few nonorthologous OR relationships between both species as well as independent pseudogenization of ORs suggesting separate evolutionary changes. Particularly, a subgroup of the OR gene clade XI, which had been hypothesized to code cuticular hydrocarbon receptors showed a high number of species-specific ORs RNAseq analysis detected a total number of 145 OR transcripts in male and 162 in female antennae. Most of the OR genes were highly expressed on the female antennae. However, we detected five distinct male-biased OR genes, out of which three genes (AfOr11, AfOr18, AfOr170P) were shown to be male-biased in A. mellifera, too, thus corroborating a behavioral function in sex-pheromone communication.

Alternate JournalGenome Biol Evol
PubMed ID27540087