Document Detail

Nutritional regulation of division of labor in honey bees: toward a systems biology perspective.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20836048     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Organisms adapt their behavior and physiology to environmental conditions through processes of phenotypic plasticity. In one well-studied example, the division of labor among worker honey bees involves a stereotyped yet plastic pattern of behavioral and physiological maturation. Early in life, workers perform brood care and other in-hive tasks and have large internal nutrient stores; later in life, they forage for nectar and pollen outside the hive and have small nutrient stores. The pace of maturation depends on colony conditions, and the environmental, physiological, and genomic mechanisms by which this occurs are being actively investigated. Here we review current knowledge of the mechanisms by which a key environmental variable, nutritional status, influences worker honey bee division of labor. These studies demonstrate that changes in individual nutritional status and conserved food-related molecular and hormonal pathways regulate the age at which individual bees begin to forage. We then outline ways in which systems biology approaches, enabled by the sequencing of the honey bee genome, will allow researchers to gain deeper insight into nutritional regulation of honey bee behavior, and phenotypic plasticity in general.
Seth A Ament; Ying Wang; Gene E Robinson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Wiley interdisciplinary reviews. Systems biology and medicine     Volume:  2     ISSN:  1939-005X     ISO Abbreviation:  Wiley Interdiscip Rev Syst Biol Med     Publication Date:    2010 Sep-Oct
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-09-13     Completed Date:  2011-01-12     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101516550     Medline TA:  Wiley Interdiscip Rev Syst Biol Med     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  566-76     Citation Subset:  IM    
Neuroscience Program, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
Bees / growth & development,  physiology*
Behavior, Animal
Models, Biological
Signal Transduction
Social Behavior
Systems Biology
Grant Support

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