IUSSI European Meeting edition:4 location:La Roche, Belgium date:30 august - 4 september
The foraging gene, encoding a cGMP dependant protein kinase, influences food seeking behaviour in insects. This gene was first described in Drosophila melanogaster, where two different alleles are responsible for two distinct behavioural traits in the presence of food. Applying the candidate gene approach, this gene was expected to play a role in the temporal division of labour in social insects.
Expression levels of Amfor were higher in foraging bees when compared to nursing bees and 8-Br-cGMP treatment of Apis melifera nursing bees caused precoccious foraging behaviour. An invert relationship between for expression and foraging behaviour was found in the social wasp Vespula vulgaris and the red harvester ant Pogonomyrmex barabatus.
Here, we present the full lenght sequence of the Bombus terrestris foraging gene, obtained by PCR using degenerated primers and RACE and the results of quantitative real time PCR experiments on nursing and foraging bumblebees.