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Differences in the phototaxis of pollen and nectar foraging honey bees are related to their octopamine brain titers

  • The biogenic amine octopamine is an important neuromodulator, neurohormone and neurotransmitter in insects. We here investigate the role of octopamine signaling in honey bee phototaxis. Our results show that groups of bees differ naturally in their phototaxis. Pollen forgers display a lower light responsiveness than nectar foragers. The lower phototaxis of pollen foragers coincides with higher octopamine titers in the optic lobes but is independent of octopamine receptor gene expression. Increasing octopamine brain titers reduces responsiveness to light, while tyramine application enhances phototaxis. These findings suggest an involvement of octopamine signaling in honey bee phototaxis and possibly division of labor, which is hypothesized to be based on individual differences in sensory responsiveness.

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Author:Ricarda Scheiner, Anna Toteva, Tina Reim, Eirik Sovik, Andrew B. Barron
ISSN:1664-042X (print)
Pubmed Id:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=24734024
Parent Title (English):Frontiers in physiology
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
Place of publication:Lausanne
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2014
Year of Completion:2014
Release Date:2017/03/27
Tag:behavior; biogenic amines; division of labor; honey bee; insect; light responsiveness; tyramine
Funder:German Research Foundation [SCHE 1573/2-1, SCHE 1573/2-2, SCHE 1573/4-1]
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Biochemie und Biologie
Peer Review:Referiert
Publication Way:Open Access