The Key to Pandora's Box

@article{Stevenson2009TheKT,
  title={The Key to Pandora's Box},
  author={Pascha Antrece Stevenson},
  journal={Science},
  year={2009},
  volume={323},
  pages={594 - 595}
}
When desert locusts meet up, their nervous systems release serotonin, which causes them to become mutually attracted, a prerequisite for swarming. 
Collective behaviour in 480-million-year-old trilobite arthropods from Morocco
TLDR
This study confirms that collective behaviour has a very ancient origin and probably developed throughout the Cambrian-Ordovician interval, at the same time as the first animal radiation events.
Modulation of behavioral phase changes of the migratory locust by the catecholamine metabolic pathway
TLDR
A genome-wide gene expression profiling of gregarious and solitary nymphs at each stadium of the migratory locust, and it is found pale, henna, and vat1, involved in dopamine biosynthesis and synaptic release, were critical target genes related to behavioral phase changes in the locusts.

References

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Serotonin Mediates Behavioral Gregarization Underlying Swarm Formation in Desert Locusts
TLDR
It is shown that serotonin, an evolutionarily conserved mediator of neuronal plasticity, is responsible for this behavioral transformation, being both necessary if behavioral gregarization is to occur and sufficient to induce it.
Gregarious behavior in desert locusts is evoked by touching their back legs
TLDR
It is concluded that a primary cause of the switch in behavior that seeds the formation of locust swarms is individuals regularly touching others on the hind legs within populations that have become concentrated by the environment.
Mechanosensory-induced behavioural gregarization in the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria
TLDR
The data show for the first time that the gregarizing signal combines both exteroceptive and proprioceptive components, which travel in both nerves 5B1 and 5B2, and provides a powerful experimental method with which to elicit and study neuronal plasticity in this system.
Substantial changes in central nervous system neurotransmitters and neuromodulators accompany phase change in the locust
TLDR
High-performance liquid chromatography data show that changes in levels of neuroactive substances are widespread in the central nervous system and reflect the time course of behavioural and physiological phase change in desert locusts.
A Role for Octopamine in Honey Bee Division of Labor
TLDR
It is clear that octopamine acts ‘downstream’ of juvenile hormone to influence behavior and that juvenile hormone modulates brainOctopamine levels, which has also been implicated in the control of honey bee division of labor.
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TLDR
Insects respond to crowding in a variety of ways that are usually exemplified by rapid changes in behavior and culminate in enduring long-term morphological and/or chromatic responses, which are dependent not only on density but also on the duration and on phase history of the maternal generation.
Octopamine in Male Aggression of Drosophila
Octopamine and Experience-Dependent Modulation of Aggression in Crickets
TLDR
Evidence is presented that a form of experience-dependent plasticity of aggression in crickets is mediated by octopamine, the invertebrate counterpart of noradrenaline, and that this effect is transitory and concurrent with the activation of the octopaminergic system that accompanies flight.
The analysis of large-scale gene expression correlated to the phase changes of the migratory locust.
TLDR
Comprehensive assessment of the phase-related expression revealed that, whereas most of the genes in various categories from hind legs and the midgut are down-regulated in the gregarious phase, several gene classes in the head are impressively up-regulated, including those with peptidase, receptor, and oxygen-binding activities and those related to development, cell growth, and responses to external stimuli.
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