Queen gene controls mob.
Silencing one gene for a day may weaken the grip a termite queen has on her throne. Or at least let loose a lot of worrisome butting behavior among her subjects. Lab colonies of the termite Cryptotermes secundus (worker shown) started acting as if their queen were dead when researchers disabled her Neofem2 gene, Judith Korb of the University of Osnabruck in Germany and her colleagues report in the May 8 Science. Thus Neofem2 could be the first gene identified in termites that's crucial for queenly domination, Korb says. In the world of termites, honeybees and other ultrasocial creatures, the dominant female does most or all of the reproducing even if her workers still have the capacity. The gene may solve at least part of the puzzle of how the queen keeps them in line
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|Title Annotation:||Genes & Cells|
|Article Type:||Brief article|
|Date:||Jun 6, 2009|
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