Entomological Society of America
On-Demand 10-Minute Poster Session
Available Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Click HERE and search for ‘Cambron’ to access the session on November 11th
Environmental impact on the insulin signaling pathway during overwintering: Part One early season diapausers
Solitary bees like the alfalfa leafcutting bee (ALCB), Megachile rotundata, are agriculturally relevant pollinators of crops in the United States and Canada. However, ALCB populations are not sustainable in the US, raising questions on whether current management practices are negatively impacting overwintering survival. Since the ALCB spends 9 to 10 months a year in storage during management practices, understanding diapause physiology will allow for optimization of storage parameters to improve overall ALCB survival. To better understand how diapause physiology progresses during storage, expression of key diapause-regulatory genes were measured in early and late season diapausing ALCB stored either under current management conditions or field conditions. This first part focuses on only early season diapausing ALCB. Classic techniques such as a qPCR and RNA-seq have limitations for studying gene expression in non-model organisms such as ALCB. Therefore, we used a novel approach for studying insect genetics by using nCounter technology, a multiplex hybridization technique, to measure gene expression. Results showed that few targets of the insulin signaling pathway like FOXO, along with growth regulators like cyclins, change during overwintering, suggesting that only cell cycle regulators, and not the insulin signaling pathway as a whole, change across the phases of diapause development. Interestingly, ACLB reared under current management conditions had higher levels of expression than those reared in field settings. With differences seen between storage conditions, these findings indicate that constant temperatures like those used in storage protocols, lead to different expression profiles and possibly different phenotypes for alfalfa leafcutting bees.
Presenting Author: Lizzette D. Cambron