Genes, Vol. 14, Pages 1117: Evolutionary Adaptation of Genes Involved in Galactose Derivatives Metabolism in Oil-Tea Specialized Andrena Species

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Genes, Vol. 14, Pages 1117: Evolutionary Adaptation of Genes Involved in Galactose Derivatives Metabolism in Oil-Tea Specialized Andrena Species

Genes doi: 10.3390/genes14051117

Authors:
Gonghua Lin
Zuhao Huang
Bo He
Kai Jiang
Tianjuan Su
Fang Zhao

Oil-tea (Camellia oleifera) is a woody oil crop whose nectar includes galactose derivatives that are toxic to honey bees. Interestingly, some mining bees of the genus Andrena can entirely live on the nectar (and pollen) of oil-tea and are able to metabolize these galactose derivatives. We present the first next-generation genomes for five and one Andrena species that are, respectively, specialized and non-specialized oil-tea pollinators and, combining these with the published genomes of six other Andrena species which did not visit oil-tea, we performed molecular evolution analyses on the genes involved in the metabolizing of galactose derivatives. The six genes (NAGA, NAGA-like, galM, galK, galT, and galE) involved in galactose derivatives metabolism were identified in the five oil-tea specialized species, but only five (with the exception of NAGA-like) were discovered in the other Andrena species. Molecular evolution analyses revealed that NAGA-like, galK, and galT in oil-tea specialized species appeared under positive selection. RNASeq analyses showed that NAGA-like, galK, and galT were significantly up-regulated in the specialized pollinator Andrena camellia compared to the non-specialized pollinator Andrena chekiangensis. Our study demonstrated that the genes NAGA-like, galK, and galT have played an important role in the evolutionary adaptation of the oil-tea specialized Andrena species.

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