Honeybee on a flower/Honeybee Hemolymph protein database
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Welcome to the Honeybee Hemolymph Proteomics Database at the University of British Columbia.

This database accompanies the article:

Quantitative comparison of caste differences in honeybee hemolymph

by Queenie W.T. Chan, Charles G. Howes, and Leonard J. Foster°

UBC Centre for Proteomics, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4.
° Corresponding author, e-mail: Email address for Dr. Leonard Foster, Telephone: +604-822-8311, Fax: +604-822-2114


The honeybee, Apis mellifera, is an invaluable partner in agriculture around the world, both for its production of honey and, more importantly, for its role in pollination. Honeybees are largely unexplored at the molecular level, despite a long and distinguished career as a model organism for understanding social behavior. Like other eusocial insects, honeybees can be divided into several castes: the queen (fertile female), workers (sterile females) and drones (males). Each caste has different energy and metabolic requirements and each differs in its susceptibility to pathogens, many of which have evolved to take advantage of the close social network inside a colony. Hemolymph, arthropods' equivalent to blood, distributes nutrients throughout the bee and the immune components contained within it form one of the primary lines of defense against invading microorganisms. In this study we have applied qualitative and quantitative proteomics to gain a better understanding of honeybee hemolymph and how it varies amongst the castes and during development. We found unexpectedly large differences in hemolymph protein composition, especially between larval and adult stage bees and between male and female castes but even between adult workers and queens. We also provide experimental evidence for the expression of several unannotated honeybee genes and for the detection of biomarkers of a viral infection. Our data provide an initial molecular picture of honeybee hemolymph, to a greater depth than previous studies in other insects, and will pave the way for future biochemical studies of innate immunity in this animal.

Picture of bees for use as an imagemap Worker bee Drone bee Queen bee Larval worker bee
Proteins found in the hemolymph of:
1. Workers (204 proteins)
2. Drones (252 proteins)
3. Queens (183 proteins)
4. Worker Larvae (228 proteins)
5. All castes combined (324 proteins)
Venn diagram of proteins identified in adult honeybee hemolymph only queen only proteins in queen and workers only proteins in all three
	       classes only proteins in queen and
	       drone only proteins in drones only proteins in workers and
	       drones only proteins in workers
Proteins found only in:
1. Drone (49 proteins)
2. Queen (18 proteins)
3. Worker (15 proteins)
4. Drone and Worker (51 proteins)
5. Queen and Drone (27 proteins)
6. Queen and Worker (13 proteins)
7. Queen, Drone, and Worker (125 proteins)
(Worker larvae ignored)

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Search for proteins with the following criteria Find up- or down-regulated proteins
Accession Code:
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Search matrix: Blosum62 (Normal) PAM30 (For short peptides)

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ODS Protein quantification data (OpenOffice Calc)
XLS Protein quantification data (Excel)
CSV Protein quantification data (CSV)
FA Proteins found in Apis hemolymph (Fasta)
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Last updated 2006-10-15

Database released, 2006-05-01

Website and database designed/maintained by Charles Howes