Characterization of quantitative trait loci for the age of first foraging in honey bee workers

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Olav Rueppell, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Identifying the basis of quantitative trait loci (QTL) remains challenging for the study of complex traits, such as behavior. The honey bee is a good model combining interesting social behavior with a high recombination rate that facilitates this identification. Several studies have focused on the pollen hoarding syndrome, identifying multiple QTL as the genetic basis of its behavioral components. One component, the age of first foraging, is central for colony organization and four QTL were previously described without identification of their genomic location. Enabled by the honey bee genome project, this study provides data from multiple experiments to scrutinize these QTL, including individual and pooled SNP mapping, sequencing of AFLP markers, and microsatellite genotyping. The combined evidence confirms and localizes two of the previous QTL on chromosome four and five, dismisses the other two, and suggests one novel genomic region on chromosome eleven to influence the age of first foraging. Among the positional candidates the Ank2, PKC, Erk7, and amontillado genes stand out due to corroborating functional evidence. This study thus demonstrates the power of combined, genome-based approaches to enable targeted studies of a manageable set of candidate genes for natural behavioral variation in the important, complex social trait ?age of first foraging?.

Additional Information

Behavior Genetics, 39(5), 541-553
Language: English
Date: 2009
Genetic architecture, Complex traits, Social insects, Life history, Division of labor, Behavioral ontogeny, AFLP, Foraging onset

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