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Suitability of three common reference genes for quantitative real-time PCR in honey bees

  • Honey bees are important model organisms for neurobiology, because they display a large array of behaviors. To link behavior with individual gene function, quantitative polymerase chain reaction is frequently used. Comparing gene expression of different individuals requires data normalization using adequate reference genes. These should ideally be expressed stably throughout lifetime. Unfortunately, this is frequently not the case. We studied how well three commonly used reference genes are suited for this purpose and measured gene expression in the brains of honey bees differing in age and social role. Although rpl32 is used most frequently, it only remains stable in expression between newly emerged bees, nurse-aged bees, and pollen foragers but shows a peak at the age of 12 days. The genes gapdh and ef1 alpha-f1, in contrast, are expressed stably in the brain throughout all age groups except newly emerged bees. According to stability software, gapdh was expressed most stably, followed by rpl32 and ef1 alpha-f1.

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Author details:Tina Reim, Markus Thamm, Daniel Rolke, Wolfgang BlenauORCiDGND, Ricarda Scheiner
Parent title (English):Apidologie : a quality journal in bee science
Place of publication:Paris
Document type:Article
Year of first publication:2013
Year of completion:2013
Release date:2017/03/26
Tag:Apis mellifera; gene expression; quantitative PCR; reference gene; stability program
Page number:9
First page:342
Last Page:350
Funder:German Research Foundation (DFG) [SCH1573/2-1, SCH1573/4-1, BL469/7-1]
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Biochemie und Biologie
Peer review:Referiert