The behaviour named social learning is generally considered to be displayed by evolved animals such as apes. Yet, Frédéric Méry’s team in collaboration with the team of the Hubert Curien Pluridisciplinary Institute in Strasbourg showed that drosophila are able to display such a behaviour when chosing the site to lay their eggs. This work was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, serie B.
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A brief communication on the web site of INEE was posted , based on these results. To read it, please click here.
The work of Jean David (IGGIPOP), Amir Yassin and colleagues on the variability of females of Drosophila erecta was published in Nature Communications. The authors showed that one gene, the tan gene, was responsible for the existence of two types of females, one ressembling the males with a black abdomen and the other harboring a white abdomen.
The females with black abdomen would have an advantage when sexual competition is at its top because they are less attractive and hence are less subjected to sexual harrassment from the males. This would maintain this variability of abdomen coloration of females which appears to date from long ago.
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A brief communication was posted on the INEE web site about this article. To read it, please click here.
Laure Kaiser‘s team (DEEIT) published a work in Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology showing that Sesamia nonagrioides expresses different transcriptomes in chemosensory organs depending on its diet. Scientists took either larvae feeding on maize in France or on Typha domingensis in Africa and found numerous candidates to an adaptation to the host plant. They especially determined gene candidates involved in olfactory sensitivity.
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Jean-Christophe Sandoz‘s team (Evolbee) is involved in a work published in PNAS showing that mushroom bodies are necessary for configural discriminations in bees.
Mushroom bodies are especially prominent structures in the brain of social insects like honey bees. This species also shows unique higher order learning capabilities among insects. This work establishes links between these two facts by showing the role of mushroom bodies in bees in higher order learning that for example Drosophila are not able to perform.
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This article was chosen to be part of the “En direct des labos” web site of INSB.