Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2011 Apr 26;6(4):e19301. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0019301.

Dance type and flight parameters are associated with different mushroom body neural activities in worker honeybee brains.

Author information

Graduate School of Science, Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.



Honeybee foragers can transmit the information concerning the location of food sources to their nestmates using dance communication. We previously used a novel immediate early gene, termed kakusei, to demonstrate that the neural activity of a specific mushroom body (MB) neuron subtype is preferentially enhanced in the forager brain. The sensory information related to this MB neuron activity, however, remained unclear.


Here, we used kakusei to analyze the relationship between MB neuron activity and types of foraging behavior. The number of kakusei-positive MB neurons was higher in the round dancers that had flown a short distance than in the waggle dancers that had flown a long distance. Furthermore, the amount of kakusei transcript in the MBs inversely related to the waggle-phase duration of the waggle dance, which correlates with the flight distance. Using a narrow tunnel whose inside was vertically or axially lined, we manipulated the pattern of visual input, which is received by the foragers during flight, and analysed kakusei expression. The amount of kakusei transcript in the MBs was related to the foraging frequency but not to the tunnel pattern. In contrast, the number of kakusei-positive MB neurons was affected by the tunnel patterns, but not related to foraging frequency.


These results suggest that the MB neuron activity depends on the foraging frequency, whereas the number of active MB neurons is related to the pattern of visual input received during foraging flight. Our results suggest that the foraging frequency and visual experience during foraging are associated with different MB neural activities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center