Transcriptomes provide excellent foundational resources for mechanistic and evolutionary analyses of complex traits. We present a developmental transcriptome for the facultatively eusocial bee Megalopta genalis, which represents a potential transition point in the evolution of eusociality. A de novo transcriptome assembly of Megalopta genalis was generated using paired-end Illumina sequencing and the Trinity assembler. Males and females of all life stages were aligned to this transcriptome for analysis of gene expression profiles throughout development. Gene Ontology analysis indicates that stage-specific genes are involved in ion transport, cell-cell signaling, and metabolism. A number of distinct biological processes are upregulated in each life stage, and transitions between life stages involve shifts in dominant functional processes, including shifts from transcriptional regulation in embryos to metabolism in larvae, and increased lipid metabolism in adults. We expect that this transcriptome will provide a useful resource for future analyses to better understand the molecular basis of the evolution of eusociality and, more generally, phenotypic plasticity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2127-2135
Number of pages9
JournalG3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2015


  • Development
  • Eusociality
  • Phenotypic plasticity
  • Social evolution
  • Transcriptomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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