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J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol. 2005 Nov;191(11):987-94. Epub 2005 Nov 4.

The foraging gene, behavioral plasticity, and honeybee division of labor.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 500 EMRB, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA, USA.


In recent years, the honeybee has emerged as an excellent model for molecular and genetic studies of complex social behaviors. By using the global gene expression methods as well as the candidate gene approach, it is now possible to link the function of genes to social behaviors. In this paper, I discuss the findings about one such gene, foraging, a cGMP-dependent protein kinase. The involvement of this gene in regulating division of labor is discussed on two independent, but not mutually exclusive levels; the possible mechanisms for PKG action in regulating behavioral transitions associated with honeybee division of labor, and its possible involvement in the evolution of division of labor in bees.

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