Thursday, April 14, 2016

Gene Difference in Queen and Worker Ants

Queen and worker ants develop from the same sets of gene however they fill different roles in their ecosystem. Recently a team from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate school have created a large data set of 16 species of ants in order to find the differences in gene expression between both worker and queen ants. The researchers conclude that the same genes are expressed throughout all of the ants across all species with no difference between worker and queen genes. Therefore, the conclusion was drawn that it is not a single gene but the relationships between sets of genes that account for the difference between worker and queen ants.
This new information is useful to scientists in determining how the ant genes relate to each other and how that effects the differences between worker and queen bees. I believe that the fact the bees gene are so similar fascinating. If the interaction between the genes can create such different looking creature with different roles, then the interaction in human genetics could be one of the reasons why we are genetically different from each other.

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