Molecular and Physiological Mechanisms Underlying Chemical Communication in the Honey Bee, Apis mellifera.

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dc.contributor.advisor Trudy F.C. Mackay, Committee Chair en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Christina M. Grozinger, Committee Co-Chair en_US
dc.contributor.advisor W. Owen McMillan, Committee Member en_US
dc.contributor.advisor David R. Tarpy, Committee Member en_US Ayroles, Sarah DeLeigh en_US 2010-04-02T18:26:28Z 2010-04-02T18:26:28Z 2009-12-03 en_US
dc.identifier.other etd-08112009-235911 en_US
dc.description.abstract From prokaryotes to vertebrates, the use of chemical signals is widespread. However, the underlying mechanisms that have led to the diversification of chemical communication are poorly understood. Here, I focus on the pheromonal communication system of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, and describe some of the molecular and physiological mechanisms that underlie pheromone production and response in this species. The mandibular glands of queen honey bees produce a pheromone (QMP) which modulates many aspects of worker behavior and physiology, and is critical for colony social organization. Chapters 1 and 2 examine how the mating process in queens can produce changes in queen behavior, physiology, and pheromone production. Chapter 3 demonstrates that these changes in pheromone production appear to be linked to differences in ovary development, and that workers are most attracted to the pheromonal blend of queens with the most activated ovaries. Chapters 4 and 5 explore how variation in pheromone response can mediate queen-worker interactions. In chapter 4, I document extensive variation in worker attraction to QMP, show that this variation is linked to individual reproductive potential, and describe some of the molecular processes that are associated with this variation. Finally, in chapter 5, I test whether variation in a pheromone receptor for the main QMP component can explain the observed variation in worker attraction to the queen, and then take a molecular evolution approach to begin to elucidate the selection pressures acting on this receptor. In addition to the work presented in this dissertation, linkage mapping studies are currently underway to identify the genetic components underlying worker attraction to QMP as well as a set of behavioral and physiological manipulations to identify the epigenetic and environmental factors that can also contribute to this variation. The results of these studies demonstrate that the chemical communication system between honey bee queens and workers acts a dialog, rather than a simple, static signal-response system, and that variation in pheromone production and response both play a critical role in modulating queen-worker interactions within the hive. en_US
dc.rights I hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dis sertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to NC State University or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report. en_US
dc.subject Genomics en_US
dc.subject Pheromones en_US
dc.subject Natural Variation en_US
dc.subject Behavior en_US
dc.subject Gene Expression en_US
dc.subject Social Insects en_US
dc.title Molecular and Physiological Mechanisms Underlying Chemical Communication in the Honey Bee, Apis mellifera. en_US PhD en_US dissertation en_US Genetics en_US

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