Natural selection and the behavior of whole organisms

By: James V. Kohl | Published on: September 16, 2012

How bees decide what to be Sunday, 16 September 2012

Excerpt: “…for the first time DNA methylation “tagging” has been linked to something at the behavioral level of a whole organism.”
My comment: Was I not the first to link the epigenetic effects of nutrient chemicals and pheromones to the development of behavior in species from microbes to man? I used the honeybee model organism to exemplify how the molecular biology common to all species links the epigenetic effects of nutrient chemicals and pheromones to DNA methylation so that others might better be able to grasp the species-wide complexity that starts with microbes.
Excerpt: The researchers say they hope their results may begin to shed light on complex behavioral issues in humans, such as learning, memory, stress response and mood disorders, which all involve interactions between genetic and epigenetic components similar to those in the study.
From Kohl (2012): “The honeybee already serves as a model organism for studying human immunity, disease resistance, allergic reaction, circadian rhythms, antibiotic resistance, the development of the brain and behavior, mental health, longevity, and diseases of the X chromosome (Honeybee Genome Sequencing Consortium, 2006). Included among these different aspects of eusocial species survival are learning and memory, as well as conditioned responses to sensory stimuli (Maleszka, 2008; Menzel, 1983).”


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