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Gene Expression Changes in Honeybees

Patterns on tunnel wall trick honeybee into thinking she's travelled longer or shorter distance

Researchers at the University of Illinois (UI) at Urbana-Champaign found they can trick a honeybee into thinking she has travelled a longer or shorter distance through a tunnel that leads to a food source by varying the pattern on the tunnel walls. A busy pattern, such as the one pictured here, is perceived as a longer distance than a sparse pattern. Tricking honeybees into thinking they have traveled a long distance to find food alters gene expression in their brains. The study was led by UI neuroscience and entomology professor Gene Robinson and was supported by the National Science Foundation and the Illinois Sociogenomics Initiative.

To learn more, see the UI news story Brain gene expression changes when honey bees go the distance. (Date of Image: 2000)

Credit: Photo provided by Jürgen Tautz and Marco Kleinhenz from the book "The Buzz About Bees: Biology of a Super Organism"
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