Printer Friendly

Queen gene controls mob.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

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

COPYRIGHT 2009 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 
Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Genes & Cells
Author:Milius, Susan
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 6, 2009
Words:137
Previous Article:Genetic study links narcolepsy to autoimmunity: other risk factors probably serve as disease triggers.
Next Article:Force is strong for blood stem cells, at least in mice, zebrafish embryos: studies show blood flow and nitric oxide boost production.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters