Expression of the Foraging Gene Is Associated with Age Polyethism, Not Task Preference, in the Ant Cardiocondyla obscuriorReport as inadecuate




Expression of the Foraging Gene Is Associated with Age Polyethism, Not Task Preference, in the Ant Cardiocondyla obscurior - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.

One of the fundamental principles of social organization, age polyethism, describes behavioral maturation of workers leading to switches in task preference. Here we present a system that allows for studying division of labor DOL by taking advantage of the relative short life of Cardiocondyla obscurior workers and thereby the pace of behavioral transitions. By challenging same-age young and older age cohorts to de novo establish DOL into nurse and foraging tasks and by forcing nurses to precociously become foragers and vice versa we studied expression patterns of one of the best known candidates for social insect worker behavior, the foraging gene. Contrary to our expectations we found that foraging gene expression correlates with age, but not with the task foraging per se. This suggests that this nutrition-related gene, and the pathways it is embedded in, correlates with physiological changes over time and potentially primes, but not determines task preference of individual workers.



Author: Jan Oettler , Anna-Lena Nachtigal, Lukas Schrader

Source: http://plos.srce.hr/



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