Epigenetic Codes in Bee Development

New research at the University of Sheffield and in Australia has discovered histone codes in honey bees for the first time. These codes are in the proteins that control the way DNA is expressed. They could hold clues to the way that bee larvae with identical genetics can develop differently into queens and workers based on environmental factors such as what they eat.

"The development of different bees from the same DNA in the larvae is one of the clearest examples of epigenetics in action -- mechanisms that go beyond the basic DNA sequence," explains Dr Mark Dickman from the University of Sheffield's Faculty of Engineering. "From our knowledge of how the histone code works in other organisms, we think that the marks on the histone proteins might act as one of the switches that control how the larvae develop."

Reported from the original paper in Science Daily

Wednesday, 12 December, 2012 - 11:45

Comments

Thanks David - really interesting - that story caught my eye also - because of genetic behaviours. I found the BBC also reported....

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20667948