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Mechanisms of Life History EvolutionThe Genetics and Physiology of Life History Traits and Trade-Offs$
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Thomas Flatt and Andreas Heyland

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199568765

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199568765.001.0001

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Honey bee life history plasticity: Development, behavior, and aging

Honey bee life history plasticity: Development, behavior, and aging

Chapter 20 Honey bee life history plasticity: Development, behavior, and aging
Mechanisms of Life History Evolution

Brenda Rascón

Navdeep S. Mutti

Christina Tolfsen

Gro V. Amdam

Oxford University Press

Honey bee (Apis mellifera) females differentiate into distinct castes during development: the primary reproductive queen and the essentially sterile worker. Workers are characterized by complex social behaviour. They move through a series of tasks, beginning with nursing brood, and culminating with intense flight activity and foraging behaviour. Worker life history progression is flexible, and is affected by social environment as well as genotype. Nutritional and sensory signalling cascades mediate behavioural, physiological, and metabolic changes in workers that translate into a largely plastic pattern of aging. This chapter reviews evolutionary and mechanistic insights about worker bee life history regulation from early development and well into senescence. It contrasts these findings to life history control in Drosophila melanogaster and outlines how aging plasticity can be better understood through an experimental synthesis of two model systems: honey bees and fruit flies.

Keywords:   honey bee, social behaviour, vitellogenin, juvenile hormone, foraging specialization, pattern of aging, oxidative stress, insulin-like signalling, target of rapamycin

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