Iron granules containing superparamagnetic magnetite act as magnetoreceptor for magnetoreception in honey bees. Biomineralization of iron granules occurs in the iron deposition vesicles of trophocytes and requires the participation of actin, myosin, ferritin2, and ATP synthase. The mechanism of magnetoreception in honey bees can be explored by suppressing the formation of iron granules. Toward this goal, we injected double-stranded RNA of ferritin2 and ferritin1 into newly emerged worker honey bees to knock down these genes via RNA interference. We confirmed that mRNA and protein production of the ferritins was inhibited, leading to immature iron granules. Downregulating ferritin2 and ferritin1, moreover, leads to different deposition morphology of 7.5-nm diameter iron particles, indicating that the two genes play different roles in the formation of iron granules in worker honey bees.
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