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J Exp Biol. 2014 Apr 15;217(Pt 8):1215-7. doi: 10.1242/jeb.098475. Epub 2013 Dec 20.

The honey bee tyramine receptor AmTYR1 and division of foraging labour.

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Institute of Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24-25, 14476 Potsdam, Germany.


Honey bees display a fascinating division of labour among foragers. While some bees solely collect pollen, others only collect nectar. It is assumed that individual differences in sensory response thresholds are at the basis of this division of labour. Biogenic amines and their receptors are important candidates for regulating the division of labour, because they can modulate sensory response thresholds. Here, we investigated the role of the honey bee tyramine receptor AmTYR1 in regulating the division of foraging labour. We report differential splicing of the Amtyr1 gene and show differential gene expression of one isoform in the suboesophageal ganglion of pollen and nectar foragers. This ganglion mediates gustatory inputs. These findings imply a role for the honey bee tyramine receptor in regulating the division of foraging labour, possibly through the suboesophageal ganglion.


Biogenic amines; Gene expression; Nectar; Pollen; Splicing; Tyramine

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