Navigation Links
Can behavior be controlled by genes? The case of honeybee work assignments
Date:4/18/2012

What worker bees do depends on how old they are. A worker a few days old will become a nurse bee that devotes herself to feeding larvae (brood), secreting beeswax to seal the cells that contain brood and attending to the queen.

After about a week, she will progress to other tasks, such as grooming nest mates, ventilating the nest and packing pollen. Only at the end of her life will she become a forager, venturing forth to collect nectar and pollen for the colony.

Yehuda Ben-Shahar, PhD, assistant professor of biology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, wondered if this highly stereotyped system of task allocation wasn't somehow under genetic control.

In an article published in the advance online edition of Genes, Brain and Behavior April 6, he and colleagues from Washington University, the University of Delaware, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the Institute for System Biology in Seattle, demonstrate that the division of labor among honeybees coincides with the presence in their brains of tiny snippets of noncoding RNA, called micro-RNAs, or miRNAs, that suppress the expression of genes.

Forager bees that venture out to collect nectar and pollen have higher levels of some miRNAs in their brains than nurse bees that are devoted to tending to brood.

By comparing honeybee miRNAs to those of wasps, bees and ants, the scientists also showed that eusocial insects share many miRNAs that are absent in solitary insects. (Eusociality is an extreme form of social organization in which organisms care for young communally and give up reproductive rights to a queen.)

The pattern of conservation across species suggests that miRNAS, are important regulators of social behavior not just during the bee's lifetime but also over evolutionary time.

Working for a living

Ben-Shahar chose the honeybee (Apis mellifera) as his model organism for the genet
'/>"/>

Contact: Diana Lutz
dlutz@wustl.edu
314-935-5272
Washington University in St. Louis
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2 3 4 5

Related biology news :

1. New regulatory mechanism discovered for cell identify and behavior in forming organs
2. Coping and copulation behavior may help calculate diabetes risk
3. Eating habits and exercise behaviors in children can deteriorate early
4. 2 genes influence social behavior, visual-spatial performance in people with Williams syndrome
5. Forget the freezer: Research suggests novel way to control water behavior
6. Transport behavior of E. coli varies depending on manure source
7. Caltech researchers train computers to analyze fruit-fly behavior
8. Using dominance to explain dog behavior is old hat
9. Bolivian rainforest study suggests feeding behavior in monkeys and humans have ancient, shared roots
10. The neurobiology of musicality related to the intrinsic attachment behavior?
11. Scientists examine human behavior and the threat of disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Can behavior be controlled by genes? The case of honeybee work assignments
(Date:11/4/2014)... nature, the right amount of death at the right ... according to new research that could help in understanding ... stocks. , In a paper in the journal ... researcher and European colleagues conclude that the kind of ... loss of individuals, or mortality, depends on the size ...
(Date:11/4/2014)... A majority of Madagascar,s 101 species of lemurs are ... for the rainforests they call home. A new study ... can have on rainforest tree populations, which raises concerns ... the region,s rich biodiversity. , A large proportion of ... Lemurs in turn disperse the seeds of their ...
(Date:11/3/2014)... weight and preterm birth are linked to increased risk ... in the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) journal, ... weight and pre-term babies were not at greater risk ... , According to the ACR, 27 million Americans over ... Symptoms of OA range from mild to severe and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):When less is more: Death in moderation boosts population density in nature 2Gardeners of Madagascar rainforest at risk 2Gardeners of Madagascar rainforest at risk 3Preterm, low birth-weight babies may need new hips in adulthood 2
... incredibly temperature sensitive and can perceive changes of as little ... 8th issue of the journal Cell , a Cell ... rise, but also coordinate an appropriate response -- activating hundreds ... about the way that their DNA is packaged. The ...
... gardening world it may have always been considered a fact, ... watering your garden in the midday sun can lead to ... in New Phytologist , provides an answer that not ... for forest fires and human sunburn. "The problem ...
... project E! 3184 Odysseus has developed systems to ... tumours or other pathologies, from MRI or CT-scans. The ... location, for consultation in real time just before surgery. ... with the best possible diagnostic support, before real surgery ...
Cached Biology News:How plants 'feel' the temperature rise 2Can a drop of water cause sunburn or fire? 2A virtual liver, a better chance of life 2A virtual liver, a better chance of life 3
(Date:11/26/2014)... IL (PRWEB) November 26, 2014 In ... is giving customers a bevy of last-minute Thanksgiving savings. ... codes and offers across all product lines this holiday ... , Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday are ... its' own thanks to both loyal customers and those ...
(Date:11/26/2014)... Baltimore, MD (PRWEB) November 26, 2014 ... invite the Baltimore and Washington D.C. science community ... research. , The event, sponsored by the Protein Society, ... in UMBC’s University Center, Room 312. Through discussion, ... functional and structural importance of proteins, their role in ...
(Date:11/26/2014)... 25, 2014 SonaCare Medical, a ... (HIFU) devices, recently participated in the American Urology ... 360° .” Key opinion leaders in urology presented ... to small renal masses while attendees had the ... technologies in hands-on labs. Attendees at the Los ...
(Date:11/26/2014)... Global biostimulants market is expected to reach $2,524.02 ... of 12.5%. In order to cater to the ... impacts, farmers are looking to adopt natural compounds ... effectively & efficiently. Biostimulants are consequently seen as ... investments. , Leading companies in the biostimulants market ...
Breaking Biology Technology:DNA Spectrum Offers Last Minute Thanksgiving Coupons 2DNA Spectrum Offers Last Minute Thanksgiving Coupons 3SonaCare Medical Supports American Urology Association’s Small Renal Mass 360° Summit 2SonaCare Medical Supports American Urology Association’s Small Renal Mass 360° Summit 32019 Biostimulants Market to Grow at a CAGR of 12.5% Says a New Research Report Available at RnRMarketResearch.com 22019 Biostimulants Market to Grow at a CAGR of 12.5% Says a New Research Report Available at RnRMarketResearch.com 32019 Biostimulants Market to Grow at a CAGR of 12.5% Says a New Research Report Available at RnRMarketResearch.com 4
... 2011 The New York Stem Cell Summit is releasing ... the press and the general public understand more accurately the ... the United States today. Approximately 1 million patients ... mid-1980s in the United States. Harvesting stem ...
... 2011 Renmatix , the leading producer of cellulosic sugars, ... fuels company Amyris , has joined the Renmatix Board of ... Year" by the Philadelphia Business Journal , will fill the ... Melo comes to the Renmatix Board of Directors with rare ...
... Sept. 13Researchers at Vanderbilt University have developed a new technique ... biological tissue at multiple points simultaneously, a method that could ... grow and change shape. UV lasers are a ... make incisions by vaporizing one point at a time in ...
Cached Biology Technology:New York Stem Cell Summit Issues Adult Stem Cell Fact Sheet 2Amyris Chief Joins Renmatix BoD, New CFO Added to Company 2