Neurophysiological mechanisms underlying sex- and maturation-related variation in pheromone responses in honey bees (Apis mellifera)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the honey bee (Apis mellifera), social organization is primarily mediated by pheromones. Queen-produced 9-oxo-2-decenoic acid (9-ODA) functions as both a social and sex pheromone, eliciting attraction in both female workers and male drones, but also affecting other critical aspects of worker physiology and behavior. These effects are also maturation related, as younger workers and sexually mature drones are most receptive to 9-ODA. While changes in the peripheral nervous system drive sex-related differences in sensitivity to 9-ODA, the mechanisms driving maturation-related shifts in receptivity to 9-ODA remain unknown. Here, we investigate the hypothesis that changes at the peripheral nervous system may be mediating plastic responses to 9-ODA by characterizing expression levels of AmOR11 (the olfactory receptor tuned to 9-ODA) and electrophysiological responses to 9-ODA. We find that receptor expression correlates significantly with behavioral receptivity to 9-ODA, with nurses and sexually mature drones exhibiting higher levels of expression than foragers and immature drones, respectively. Electrophysiological responses to 9-ODA were not found to correlate with behavioral receptivity or receptor expression, however. Thus, while receptor expression at the periphery exhibits a level of plasticity that correlates with behavior, the mechanisms driving maturation-dependent responsiveness to 9-ODA appear to function primarily in the central nervous system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)731-739
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
Volume201
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 13 2015

Fingerprint

Sexual Maturation
Honey
Bees
Pheromones
honey
pheromone
Apis mellifera
bee
pheromones
honey bees
maturation
gender
acids
acid
drones (insects)
nervous system
peripheral nervous system
Peripheral Nervous System
receptors
Odorant Receptors

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this

@article{bbcfe307f82a493db25cec4d3a963be3,
title = "Neurophysiological mechanisms underlying sex- and maturation-related variation in pheromone responses in honey bees (Apis mellifera)",
abstract = "In the honey bee (Apis mellifera), social organization is primarily mediated by pheromones. Queen-produced 9-oxo-2-decenoic acid (9-ODA) functions as both a social and sex pheromone, eliciting attraction in both female workers and male drones, but also affecting other critical aspects of worker physiology and behavior. These effects are also maturation related, as younger workers and sexually mature drones are most receptive to 9-ODA. While changes in the peripheral nervous system drive sex-related differences in sensitivity to 9-ODA, the mechanisms driving maturation-related shifts in receptivity to 9-ODA remain unknown. Here, we investigate the hypothesis that changes at the peripheral nervous system may be mediating plastic responses to 9-ODA by characterizing expression levels of AmOR11 (the olfactory receptor tuned to 9-ODA) and electrophysiological responses to 9-ODA. We find that receptor expression correlates significantly with behavioral receptivity to 9-ODA, with nurses and sexually mature drones exhibiting higher levels of expression than foragers and immature drones, respectively. Electrophysiological responses to 9-ODA were not found to correlate with behavioral receptivity or receptor expression, however. Thus, while receptor expression at the periphery exhibits a level of plasticity that correlates with behavior, the mechanisms driving maturation-dependent responsiveness to 9-ODA appear to function primarily in the central nervous system.",
author = "Gabriel Villar and Baker, {Thomas Charles} and Patch, {Harland Martin} and Grozinger, {Christina M.}",
year = "2015",
month = "7",
day = "13",
doi = "10.1007/s00359-015-1006-7",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "201",
pages = "731--739",
journal = "Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology",
issn = "0340-7594",
publisher = "Springer Verlag",
number = "7",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Neurophysiological mechanisms underlying sex- and maturation-related variation in pheromone responses in honey bees (Apis mellifera)

AU - Villar, Gabriel

AU - Baker, Thomas Charles

AU - Patch, Harland Martin

AU - Grozinger, Christina M.

PY - 2015/7/13

Y1 - 2015/7/13

N2 - In the honey bee (Apis mellifera), social organization is primarily mediated by pheromones. Queen-produced 9-oxo-2-decenoic acid (9-ODA) functions as both a social and sex pheromone, eliciting attraction in both female workers and male drones, but also affecting other critical aspects of worker physiology and behavior. These effects are also maturation related, as younger workers and sexually mature drones are most receptive to 9-ODA. While changes in the peripheral nervous system drive sex-related differences in sensitivity to 9-ODA, the mechanisms driving maturation-related shifts in receptivity to 9-ODA remain unknown. Here, we investigate the hypothesis that changes at the peripheral nervous system may be mediating plastic responses to 9-ODA by characterizing expression levels of AmOR11 (the olfactory receptor tuned to 9-ODA) and electrophysiological responses to 9-ODA. We find that receptor expression correlates significantly with behavioral receptivity to 9-ODA, with nurses and sexually mature drones exhibiting higher levels of expression than foragers and immature drones, respectively. Electrophysiological responses to 9-ODA were not found to correlate with behavioral receptivity or receptor expression, however. Thus, while receptor expression at the periphery exhibits a level of plasticity that correlates with behavior, the mechanisms driving maturation-dependent responsiveness to 9-ODA appear to function primarily in the central nervous system.

AB - In the honey bee (Apis mellifera), social organization is primarily mediated by pheromones. Queen-produced 9-oxo-2-decenoic acid (9-ODA) functions as both a social and sex pheromone, eliciting attraction in both female workers and male drones, but also affecting other critical aspects of worker physiology and behavior. These effects are also maturation related, as younger workers and sexually mature drones are most receptive to 9-ODA. While changes in the peripheral nervous system drive sex-related differences in sensitivity to 9-ODA, the mechanisms driving maturation-related shifts in receptivity to 9-ODA remain unknown. Here, we investigate the hypothesis that changes at the peripheral nervous system may be mediating plastic responses to 9-ODA by characterizing expression levels of AmOR11 (the olfactory receptor tuned to 9-ODA) and electrophysiological responses to 9-ODA. We find that receptor expression correlates significantly with behavioral receptivity to 9-ODA, with nurses and sexually mature drones exhibiting higher levels of expression than foragers and immature drones, respectively. Electrophysiological responses to 9-ODA were not found to correlate with behavioral receptivity or receptor expression, however. Thus, while receptor expression at the periphery exhibits a level of plasticity that correlates with behavior, the mechanisms driving maturation-dependent responsiveness to 9-ODA appear to function primarily in the central nervous system.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84930871703&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84930871703&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s00359-015-1006-7

DO - 10.1007/s00359-015-1006-7

M3 - Article

C2 - 25840687

AN - SCOPUS:84930871703

VL - 201

SP - 731

EP - 739

JO - Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology

JF - Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology

SN - 0340-7594

IS - 7

ER -