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Research Article

The Honey Bee Epigenomes: Differential Methylation of Brain DNA in Queens and Workers

  • Frank Lyko equal contributor,

    equal contributor Contributed equally to this work with: Frank Lyko, Sylvain Foret

    Affiliation: Division of Epigenetics, DKFZ-ZMBH Alliance, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany

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  • Sylvain Foret equal contributor,

    equal contributor Contributed equally to this work with: Frank Lyko, Sylvain Foret

    Affiliation: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia

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  • Robert Kucharski,

    Affiliation: Research School of Biology, the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

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  • Stephan Wolf,

    Affiliation: Genomics and Proteomics Core Facility, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany

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  • Cassandra Falckenhayn,

    Affiliation: Division of Epigenetics, DKFZ-ZMBH Alliance, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany

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  • Ryszard Maleszka mail

    maleszka@rsbs.anu.edu.au

    Affiliation: Research School of Biology, the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

    X
  • Published: November 02, 2010
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000506

Reader Comments (1)

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Cause or effect?

Posted by ka5s on 01 Dec 2010 at 04:23 GMT

This is an extremely interesting finding. However, I wonder if there might be preexisting differences detectable by worker bees delivering Royal Jelly, between larvae selected to become queens, and those not so selected. Is a sample of 50 worker bees sufficient? Might not it be necessary to examine specimens in the larval stage to eliminate an alternative mechanism for the result observed? And might not 50 be too few out of an entire hive?

No competing interests declared.