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eNeuro. 2019 Sep 6;6(5). pii: ENEURO.0454-18.2019. doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0454-18.2019. Print 2019 Sep/Oct.

Adaptations during Maturation in an Identified Honeybee Interneuron Responsive to Waggle Dance Vibration Signals.

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Department of Biology II, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Planegg-Martinsried, 82152, Germany
Department of Earth System Science, Fukuoka University, Fukuoka, 814-0180, Japan.
School of Human Science and Environment, University of Hyogo, Himeji, 670-0092, Japan.


Honeybees are social insects, and individual bees take on different social roles as they mature, performing a multitude of tasks that involve multi-modal sensory integration. Several activities vital for foraging, like flight and waggle dance communication, involve sensing air vibrations through their antennae. We investigated changes in the identified vibration-sensitive interneuron DL-Int-1 in the honeybee Apis mellifera during maturation by comparing properties of neurons from newly emerged adult and forager honeybees. Although comparison of morphological reconstructions of the neurons revealed no significant changes in gross dendritic features, consistent and region-dependent changes were found in dendritic density. Comparison of electrophysiological properties showed an increase in the firing rate differences between stimulus and nonstimulus periods in foragers compared with newly emerged adult bees. The observed differences in neurons of foragers compared with newly emerged adult honeybees suggest refined connectivity, improved signal propagation, and enhancement of response features possibly important for the network processing of air vibration signals relevant for the waggle dance communication of honeybees.


adaptation; honeybee; maturation; neuron morphology

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