Original Posted By babi_perang►
Behaviors arise from both inborn instincts and learning. The molecular basis of several innate behavioral processes has been extensively analyzed, including monarch butterfly migration (Zhan et al., 2014), rodent mating (Shelley et al., 2006), rodent aggression (Takahashi and Miczek, 2014), bird song learning (Balakrishnan et al., 2014) and honey bee behavioral maturation (Zayed and Robinson, 2012). Similarly, much is known about the molecular basis of learned behaviors (Kandel, 2001). However, little is known about the degree to which related instincts and learned behaviors rely upon similar molecular mechanisms (Isosaka et al., 2015).
We used honey bees (Apis mellifera Linnaeus 1758) to address this issue because they have a large behavioral repertoire of both innate and learned behaviors. We focused on a pair of behaviors with similar spatiotemporal components that are performed on an innate or learned basis: mating and foraging.
When (male) drone honey bees reach sexual maturity at approximately 1 week of adult age, they begin to make daily mating flights and leave the hive to search for virgin queens at specific locations in the environment (Winston, 1987). The timing of these mating flights is both innate and species-specific within the genus Apis (Rinderer et al., 1993). Altering temperature and photoperiod can shift the time of flight (Oxley et al., 2010), suggesting that the drones are using an internal clock that is entrained to the day/night cycle.
After worker (female) honey bees have matured from working in the hive at approximately 2 to 3 weeks of adult age, they begin to forage for nectar and pollen. While the motivation of workers to undertake foraging flights also is innate, workers learn the location of floral resources and the time of their availability. This allows them to forage efficiently in the face of temporally and spatially variable food sources (Van Nest and Moore, 2012). As with drone mating flights, worker foraging flights also are under the control of an internal clock (Renner, 1957). Transcriptomic analyses revealed that different spatiotemporal foraging memories are associated with distinct patterns of brain gene expression, including genes that regulate circadian rhythms (Naeger et al., 2011). We used these two spatiotemporal flight behaviors in drone and worker honey bees to compare the patterns of gene expression in the brain associated with instinctive and learned behaviors.
A second motivation for selecting these two behaviors was to learn more about the molecular basis of reward-based behavior. Both mating and foraging involve the pursuit of natural stimuli that are generally considered to be rewarding (Young and Wang, 2004). Our recent study showed that brain transcriptomic responses to different types of food rewards in honey bees involve a mixture of similar and different molecular pathways (McNeill et al., 2016). We were interested in extending these analyses to other types of rewards to continue to explore the idea that brain responses to stimuli involved in social rewards involve subcomponents of a more general reward system, which has been shown in both insects (McNeill et al., 2016) and mammals (Cromwell and Schultz, 2003; Lardeux et al., 2009).
The mushroom bodies (MB), a region in the dorsal protocerebrum of the brain involved in multi-modal sensory processing, learning and memory (Zars, 2000), was selected for the present study, as it is involved in both instinctive (Sen Sarma et al., 2009; Lutz and Robinson, 2013; McNeill et al., 2016) and learned behavior. In addition, the MB also has recently been shown to show strong transcriptional responses to various types of food rewards (McNeill et al., 2016).
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