Control of reproductive dominance by the thelytoky gene in honeybees

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dc.contributor.author Lattorff, H. Michael G.
dc.contributor.author Moritz, Robin F.A.
dc.contributor.author Crewe, Robin M.
dc.contributor.author Solignac, M.
dc.date.accessioned 2008-05-26T12:15:11Z
dc.date.available 2008-05-26T12:15:11Z
dc.date.issued 2007-06-07
dc.description.abstract Differentiation into castes and reproductive division of labour are a characteristics of eusocial insects. Caste determination occurs at an early stage of larval development in social bees and is achieved via differential nutrition irrespective of the genotype. Workers are usually subordinate to the queen and altruistically refrain from reproduction. Workers of the Cape honeybee (Apis mellifera capensis) do not necessarily refrain from reproduction. They have the unique ability to produce female offspring parthenogenetically (thelytoky) and can develop into 'pseudoqueens'. Although these are morphologically workers, they develop a queen-like phenotype with respect to physiology and behaviour. Thelytoky is determined by a single gene (th) and we show that this gene also influences other traits related to the queen phenotype, including egg production and queen pheromone synthesis. Using 566 microsatellite markers, we mapped this gene to chromosome 13 and identified a candidate locus thelytoky, similar to grainy head (a transcription factor), which has been shown to be highly expressed in queens of eusocial insects. We therefore suggest that this gene is not only important for determining the pseudoqueen phenotype in A. m. capensis workers, but is also of general importance in regulating the gene cascades controlling reproduction and sterility in female social bees. en
dc.description.sponsorship The VW foundation (R.F.A.M., R.M.C.), D.F.G. (R.F.A.M.), NRF (R.M.C.) and EU-BABE network (R.F.A.M., M.S.) en
dc.format.extent 208844 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.identifier.citation Michael, H, Lattorff, G, Moritz, FA, Crewe, RM & Solignac, M 2007, 'Control of reproductive dominance by the thelytoky gene in honeybees', Biology Letters, vol. 3, no. 3, pp 292-295. [http://royalsociety.org/] en
dc.identifier.issn 1744-9561
dc.identifier.issn 1744-957X
dc.identifier.other 10.1098/rsbl.2007.0083
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/5532
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Royal Society en
dc.rights Royal Society. This article is embargoed by the publisher until June 2008 en
dc.subject Thelytoky en
dc.subject Pleiotropy en
dc.subject Honeybee (Apis mellifera) en
dc.subject.lcsh Insects -- Reproduction
dc.subject.lcsh Genetics
dc.title Control of reproductive dominance by the thelytoky gene in honeybees en
dc.type Postprint Article en


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