Current Press Release

Brood care gene steers the division of labour among ants

Frankfurt am Main/ Germany, June 18th, 2018. The success of ant colonies is based on a strict division of labour. However, until now the genes responsible for regulating the behaviour of the workers have not been known. Now scientists at the University of Mainz and the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre have identified a gene, whose activity regulates the sensitivity to brood scent and thus influences the brood care behaviour of ants. This is the result of genetic studies and experiments on the North American ant species Temnothorax longispinosus, as the group reports in the current issue of the journal “PLoS Biology”.

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