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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Behavioral Patterns In Bees

Honeybees famous for its community and division of roles. Neither the queen bee, forager bee, as well as nurse bees have a unique role. But how to divide the task is executed?
Forager bees are responsible for gathering pollen and nectar. (Picture from: http://www.sciencedaily.com/)
"The role of every bee in the hive is determined by the chemical signals that alter the workings of a particular gene in their brains," said Andrew Feinberg, a researcher from Johns Hopkins University and Arizona State University, USA. Last week, a team of researchers led by Andrew Feinberg published their research in the journal Nature Neuroscience.
Queen bee is fed solely royal jelly, and matures five days faster than other bees. (Picture from: http://www.queenbeeremoval.com/)
Queen bees only instrumental in producing larvae. Queen bees are always surrounded by two kinds of bees as his subordinates, namely the charge forager bees -seeking nectar and pollen for the entire group- and nurse bees, who all its life in charge of caring for the queen bee.
Nurse bees, who all its life in charge of caring for the queen bee. (Picture from: http://adventuresinbeeland.wordpress.com/)
Scientists do not know how long this forager bees and nurse bees formed. Apparently, these two jobs require bees with different physical and behavioral. "But bees do come from the same genetic clone," says Andrew.

According to them, differences that mark the nurse bees or bee collecting lies not in their genetic code. Chemicals attached to the genes that they affect the way they act.

The chemical is called epigenetics. Differences epigenetic patterns can activate, turn off, or change the way genes work in the brain of the honey bee. Changes in the function of this gene causes the honey bee, which was originally identical, to act in a different way.

The scientists then analyzed the DNA of honey bees. They found that forager bees have a type of chemical patterns inherent in its genes. While their brethren who remained in the nest and care for the queen bee has a completely different pattern.

Some testing was also performed. When the nurse bees removed from the hive, for example, some forager bees turned out roles. Chemical profile of genes in the bee brain swapped jobs changed to fit their new positions.

The research team claims their research on the changing role of the honey bee is the first. "If the trial is successful on honey bees, there may also be applied to humans," said Andrew Feinberg.

The researchers say they hope their results may begin to shed light on complex behavioral issues in humans, such as learning, memory, stress response and mood disorders, which all involve interactions between genetic and epigenetic components similar to those in the study. A person's underlying genetic sequence is acted upon by epigenetic tags, which may be affected by external cues to change in ways that create stable -- but reversible -- behavioral patterns.. *** [SCIENCEDAILY | TELEGRAPH | MAHARDIKA SATRIA HADI | KORAN TEMPO 4006]
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