News of the WeekANIMAL BEHAVIOR

Single Gene Dictates Ant Society

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Science  16 Nov 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5546, pp. 1434
DOI: 10.1126/science.294.5546.1434

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Summary

Fire ant researchers say they've characterized a gene that may single-handedly determine a complex social behavior: whether a colony will have one or many queens. The gene in question seems to work by controlling how ants perceive pheromones that tell them who's a queen and who isn't. The findings are published online this week by Science (www.sciencexpress.org).