Indian jumping ants are able to adapt to the loss of the queen ant by making a switch to queen-like status in order to keep the colony functional. According to a study done in Cell, this ability to shift into the queen is caused by the response of the Kr-hl transcription factor to hormones which are present in different levels within the queen and the worker ants. Furthermore, another study has shown that these specific ants have the ability to change the size of their brains and expand their glial cells in order to compete for the status of the queen. This shows that studying ants is an effective way to see how "turning off certain genes can affect ingrained patterns of behavior." These researchers have also studied how different hormones activates the Kr-hl transcriptional factor differently in the queen and worker ants. These juvenile hormones have also impacted how ants develop over time. The studies have concluded that there are still many questions that need to be further investigated, but there is a good possibility that these mechanisms can be present in other organisms as well.
Ants are really incredible superorganisms. This study makes total sense as an adaptation to save their colony, since they can't exist without a queen!ReplyDelete
It is so cool that ants compete for the status to become queen by changing the size of their brains, ants in general are such an intelligent species but the way they can mend and reshape their own genes is absolutely incredible and I wonder how ants will be researched after learning about how ants can activate different hormones.ReplyDelete
It is astonishing how ants can turn into the queen to lead the colony after the previous queen disappears. It is even more surprising that the ant becomes a queen only because it is guided by its own natural hormones to become the queen. I am intrigued to learn more of the biochemistry that involves the transcription factor Kr-hl and its relation to hormones.ReplyDelete
It is incredible to think that an insect as small as an ant is capable of such amazing things. They really are insanely smart for the size that they are. To be able to take over and change your body in order to control the colony and be a queen is amazing! I love learning about all the things insects are capable of doing.ReplyDelete