Influence of Gene Action Across Different Time Scales on Behavior

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Science  26 Apr 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5568, pp. 741-744
DOI: 10.1126/science.1069911

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Genes can affect natural behavioral variation in different ways. Allelic variation causes alternative behavioral phenotypes, whereas changes in gene expression can influence the initiation of behavior at different ages. We show that the age-related transition by honey bees from hive work to foraging is associated with an increase in the expression of the foraging (for) gene, which encodes a guanosine 3′,5′-monophosphate (cGMP)–dependent protein kinase (PKG). cGMP treatment elevated PKG activity and caused foraging behavior. Previous research showed that allelic differences in PKG expression result in two Drosophila foraging variants. The same gene can thus exert different types of influence on a behavior.

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