Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Unexpected diversity of egg yolk proteins play key role in ant sociality, castes

Date:
June 3, 2014
Source:
Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press)
Summary:
Researchers have performed molecular evolutionary analyses on the egg yolk forming protein, Vitellogenin, and its many forms, amongst seven Formica ant species. Vitellogenin (Vg) is known to play a role in the fate and regulation of insect social castes, with previous studies showing Vg expression most prevalent in queens and much lower in the workers.

The social insects, including bees, wasps, ants and termites have developed a highly advanced society where division of labor amongst workers to serve the queen's reproduction has long fascinated biologists who have wanted to uncover the molecular pathways driving the complex behavior of insect societies.

Related Articles


In the advanced online edition of Molecular Biology and Evolution, Claire Morandin et al. performed molecular evolutionary analyses on the egg yolk forming protein, Vitellogenin (Vg), and its many forms, amongst seven Formica ant species. Vitellogenin is known to play a role in the fate and regulation of insect social castes, with previous studies showing Vg expression most prevalent in queens and much lower in the workers.

The University of Helsinki research team discovered three new copies of Vg, called homologues, and examined these in both non-reproductive workers and queens. They demonstrated that the three new homologues of Vg were the result of ancient gene duplications, and that each of these copies plays a different role in ant societies. In contrast to earlier studies, Vitellogenin was not found to be upregulated in the queens, and the caste bias of the three Vitellogenin-like genes was highly variable among species. However, they did find one Vg homologue, a shortened version of the conventional Vg gene, called Vg-like-C, which was consistently primarily expressed in workers in the seven studied ant species.

"The combination of gene expression, protein modeling and evolutionary analysis of multiple copies of Vitellogenin -- a key player in insect reproduction and behavior -- suggests that patterns underlying caste differences are not easily generalized across social insects," said Morandin.

The study shows that the expression and role in social regulation of Vg and Vg-like genes are not consistent across species, providing important new insights into the complexity of insect social behavior and gene variation amongst even closely related species.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. Morandin, H. Havukainen, J. Kulmuni, K. Dhaygude, K. Trontti, H. Helantera. Not only for egg yolk - functional and evolutionary insights from expression, selection and structural analyses of Formica ant vitellogenins. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 2014; DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msu171

Cite This Page:

Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press). "Unexpected diversity of egg yolk proteins play key role in ant sociality, castes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140603182557.htm>.
Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press). (2014, June 3). Unexpected diversity of egg yolk proteins play key role in ant sociality, castes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140603182557.htm
Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press). "Unexpected diversity of egg yolk proteins play key role in ant sociality, castes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140603182557.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) Urbanspoon predicts whicg food trends will dominate the culinary scene in 2015. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) NASA's Curiosity rover detected methane on Mars and organic compounds on the surface, but it doesn't quite prove there was life ... yet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 17, 2014) Demand for ivory has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of African elephants and now a conservation report says the illegal trade is overwhelming efforts to enforce the law. Amy Pollock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins