Document Detail

Genotype effect on regulation of behaviour by vitellogenin supports reproductive origin of honeybee foraging bias.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20454635     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
In honeybee colonies, food collection is performed by a group of mostly sterile females called workers. After an initial nest phase, workers begin foraging for nectar and pollen, but tend to bias their collection towards one or the other. The foraging choice of honeybees is influenced by vitellogenin (vg), an egg-yolk precursor protein that is expressed although workers typically do not lay eggs. The forager reproductive ground plan hypothesis (RGPH) proposes an evolutionary path in which the behavioural bias toward collecting nectar or pollen on foraging trips is influenced by variation in reproductive physiology, such as hormone levels and vg gene expression. Recently, the connections between vg and foraging behaviour were challenged by Oldroyd and Beekman (2008), who concluded from their study that the ovary, and especially vg, played no role in foraging behaviour of bees. We address their challenge directly by manipulating vg expression by RNA interference- (RNAi) mediated gene knockdown in two honeybee genotypes with different foraging behaviour and reproductive physiology. We show that the effect of vg on the food-loading decisions of the workers occurs only in the genotype where timing of foraging onset (by age) is also sensitive to vg levels. In the second genotype, changing vg levels do not affect foraging onset or bias. The effect of vg on workers' age at foraging onset is explained by the well-supported double repressor hypothesis (DHR), which describes a mutually inhibitory relationship between vg and juvenile hormone (JH) - an endocrine factor that influences development, reproduction, and behaviour in many insects. These results support the RGPH and demonstrate how it intersects with an established mechanism of honeybee behavioural control.
Kate E Ihle; Robert E Page; Katy Frederick; M Kim Fondrk; Gro V Amdam
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Publication Detail:
Journal Detail:
Title:  Animal behaviour     Volume:  79     ISSN:  0003-3472     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2010 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-7-13     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0376746     Medline TA:  Anim Behav     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  1001-1006     Citation Subset:  -    
School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe.
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Grant Support
P01 AG022500-06A15552//NIA NIH HHS

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