Eyal Privman – Explaining social behavior by brain gene expression differences

Eyal Privman – Explaining social behavior by brain gene expression differences

Our goal is to identify the genes underlying social behavior in ants. Cooperation between workers in ant colonies require elaborate communication. In this project we study the so-called “tandem running” behavior in the golden ant Camponotus sericeus. A worker of this species that finds a new food source often recruits another worker and teaches her the way to the food by leading her in a tandem run. We compared gene expression in the brains of workers that tend to participate in tandem runs to those that forage on their own. We found differentially expressed genes that are implicated in various neuronal functions, which may explain the behavioral differences among foragers.

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