Investigators at University of California Detail Research in Behavioral Ecology
2012 JUN 22 (VerticalNews) -- By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Ecology, Environment & Conservation -- Data detailed on Behavioral Ecology have been presented. According to news reporting originating from Davis, California, by VerticalNews correspondents, researchers stated "Honeybee division of labor (DOL) has become a model system for exploring the genetic basis of complex traits and phenotypic plasticity. Although many highly informative behavioral studies have been conducted on this topic (both at the cohort and individual levels), most studies have focused on a few behavioral acts, such as the age of first foraging."
Our news editors obtained a quote from the research by the authors from the University of California, "Few studies have recorded large numbers of relatively complete individual-level patterns of DOL. Such fine-scale patterns would lay the foundation for rigorous molecular analyses of this phenomenon and allow us to differentiate between competing mechanistic models of DOL. Here, we record over 100 individual-level DOL patterns of bees living under natural conditions. We found that the transitions between castes (polyphenism states) are often gradual, with bees being in multiple castes at once. This is contrary to the traditional view that changes are abrupt. We also found that bees often skip castes, a key prediction of a recent model of DOL. We further confirm variation in the rate at which bees pass through castes and the age of first foraging."
According to the news editors, the researchers concluded: "Taken together, these results greatly improve our understanding of this model system and allow for a strong revision of current models of honeybee DOL."
For more information on this research see: Individual-level patterns of division of labor in honeybees highlight flexibility in colony-level developmental mechanisms. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 2012;66(6):923-930. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology can be contacted at: Springer, 233 Spring St, New York, NY 10013, USA. (Springer - www.springer.com; Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology - www.springerlink.com/content/0340-5443/)
The news editors report that additional information may be obtained by contacting B.R. Johnson, University of California, Dept. of Entomol, Davis, CA 95616, United States.
Keywords for this news article include: Davis, California, United States, Behavioral Ecology, North and Central America
Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2012, NewsRx LLC