RNA-Seq Analysis of AmE-711 Honey Bee Cells Exposed to Propolis

The collection and deposition of plant resins (propolis) within the nest by honey bees is a form of social immunity that provides several benefits at both the individual and colony levels. Some of these benefits include a reduction in colony pathogen load and modulation of the individual immune system. Most studies examining the mechanisms of propolis activity on honey bee immune processes rely on whole organisms or colonies. However, in vitro systems composed of honey bee cells could add a level of understanding of the effects of propolis on the cellular and molecular elements of the immune response under highly controlled conditions. We extracted RNA from AmE-711 honey bees cells exposed to an extract made from green propolis from Brazil for 3-, 12-, and 24-hours. We provide some evidence for an interaction of propolis exposure and time on the honey bee immune response, including changes in genes linked to G-coupled receptor signaling. Moreover, co-expression profiles of select immune targets showed changes associated with the regulation of gene expression. These preliminary findings provide the foundation for additional experiments testing different sources and duration of propolis exposure on honey bee immune and global gene regulation using a cell culture model.
Back to blog