Vanina Vergoz

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In the honey bee Apis mellifera loss of the queen from a colony induces increased levels of the biogenic amine dopamine in the brain of workers, and this elevation is correlated with ovary activation. In the present study we use real-time quantitative PCR to investigate expression of five biogenic amine receptor genes. We show that biogenic amine receptors(More)
Worker sterility is a defining characteristic of eusociality. The existence of the sterile worker caste remains a fundamental question for evolutionary biology as it requires the existence of genes that reduce personal reproduction. Currently, little is known about the proximate mechanisms underpinning worker sterility. Studies into a mutant "anarchistic"(More)
Mating is a complex process, which is frequently associated with behavioural and physiological changes. However, understanding of the genetic underpinnings of these changes is limited. Honey bees are both a model system in behavioural genomics, and the dominant managed pollinator of human crops; consequently understanding the mating process has both pure(More)
Reproductive division of labour characterises eusociality. Currently little is known about the mechanisms that underlie the 'sterility' of the worker caste, but queen pheromone plays a major role in regulating the reproductive state. Here we investigate oogenesis in the young adult honey bee worker ovary in the presence of queen pheromone and in its(More)
In the social insects, ovary state (the presence or absence of mature oocytes) and ovary size (the number of ovarioles) are often used as proxies for the reproductive capacity of an individual worker. Ovary size is assumed to be fixed post-eclosion whereas ovary state is demonstrably plastic post-eclosion. Here, we show that in fact ovary size declines as(More)
A queen honey bee mates at ∼6 days of age, storing the sperm in her spermatheca for life. Mating is associated with profound changes in the behaviour and physiology of the queen but the mechanisms underlying these changes are poorly understood. What is known is that the presence of semen in the oviducts and spermatheca is insufficient to initiate laying,(More)
In social insect colonies the presence of a queen, secreting her pheromones, is a key environmental cue for regulating the reproductive state of workers. However, until recently the proximate molecular mechanisms underlying facultative worker sterility were unidentified. Studies into worker oogenesis in the honey bee (Apis mellifera) have indicated that(More)
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