MOLECULAR DEVELOPMENTAL NEUROBIOLOGY
The research focus of the Maleszka team lies within the field of behavioural
- Genes involved in learning and behavioural development of the honey bee
- The neurobiology of honeybee altruism.
- The role of genome methylation in epigenesis.
From Molecules to Behaviour
Our broadly defined goal is to understand how gene function translates to
behaviour. We are using the Western honeybee (Apis mellifera) to unravel molecular
changes occurring in the brain during development, behavioural maturation and
learning. Another aim of this project is to understand how genomic information
is utilised in a highly social organism that is characterised by extreme reproductive
division of labour. The recent release of the honey bee genome assembly is expected
to aid our functional investigations. Recently finished projects include the
characterization of gene families involved in olfaction, development and brood
care in the honey bee and genes underlying activity-dependent brain plasticity.
At the behavioural level, a project on the neurobiology of honeybee altruism
provided novel data on the role of a biogenic amine, octopamine, and a psychostimulant,
cocaine, in modulation of reward perception in foraging bees performing the
symbolic dance language.
- Dr Ben Oldryod, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney (The
genetics of social regulation of reproduction in honey bees)
- ARC/NHMRC Research Network in Genes and Environment in Development (NGED)
- Dr Manoj Samanta, NASA Ames Research Center, California and Professor Gene
Robinson, Genomics Institute, Urbana-Champaign, University of Illinois. Genome-wide
transcript mapping with tiling arrays
Si, A., Zhang, S. W. and Maleszka, R. (2005) Effects of caffeine on olfactory
and visual learning in the honey bee (Apis mellifera). Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav.
Kucharski, R. and Maleszka, R. (2005) Microarray and rtPCR analyses of gene
expression in the honey bee brain following caffeine treatment. J. Mol. Neurosci.
Koywiwattrakul, P., Thompson, G., Oldroyd, B., Maleszka, R (2005) Effects of
Carbon Dioxide Narcosis on Ovary Activation and Gene Expression in Worker Honey
Bees. J. Insect Sci. 5, 36
Jones JC, Helliwell P, Beekman M, Maleszka R, Oldroyd BP. (2005)The effects
of rearing temperature on developmental stability and learning and memory in
the honey bee, Apis mellifera. J Comp Physiol A (Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav
Barron A.B. & Robinson, G.E. 2005 Selective modulation of task performance
by octopamine in honeybee (Apis mellifera) division of labor. Journal of Comparative
Physiology A. 191: 659-668
Foret, S. and Maleszka, R. (2006) Function and evolution of a gene family encoding
odorant binding-like proteins in a social insect, the honey bee (Apis mellifera).
Genome Res. (in press)
The Honey Bee Genome Consortium (2006) The genome of a social insect, the honey
bee Apis mellifera. Nature (in press)