3 years ago

The Neuropeptide Corazonin Controls Social Behavior and Caste Identity in Ants

The Neuropeptide Corazonin Controls Social Behavior and Caste Identity in Ants
Benjamin A. Garcia, Clint A. Penick, Yanping Lin, Janko Gospocic, Shelley L. Berger, Hua Yan, Danny Reinberg, Timothy A. Linksvayer, Emily J. Shields, Alexander S. Mikheyev, Jürgen Liebig, Roberto Bonasio, Karl M. Glastad

Summary

Social insects are emerging models to study how gene regulation affects behavior because their colonies comprise individuals with the same genomes but greatly different behavioral repertoires. To investigate the molecular mechanisms that activate distinct behaviors in different castes, we exploit a natural behavioral plasticity in Harpegnathos saltator, where adult workers can transition to a reproductive, queen-like state called gamergate. Analysis of brain transcriptomes during the transition reveals that corazonin, a neuropeptide homologous to the vertebrate gonadotropin-releasing hormone, is downregulated as workers become gamergates. Corazonin is also preferentially expressed in workers and/or foragers from other social insect species. Injection of corazonin in transitioning Harpegnathos individuals suppresses expression of vitellogenin in the brain and stimulates worker-like hunting behaviors, while inhibiting gamergate behaviors, such as dueling and egg deposition. We propose that corazonin is a central regulator of caste identity and behavior in social insects.

Publisher URL: http://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(17)30821-8

DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.07.014

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.