News
1/3/2013

CRG: Wasp transcriptome creates a buzz

CRG: Wasp transcriptome creates a buzz


News from CRG


International scientists including Toni Gabaldon and Roderic Guigo from CRG have sequenced the active parts of the genome – or transcriptome – of primitively eusocial wasps to identify the part of the genome that makes you a queen or a worker. Their work, published in BioMed Central’s open access journal Genome Biology, shows that workers have a more active transcriptome than queens. This suggests that in these simple societies, workers may be the ’jack-of-all-trades’ in the colony - transcriptionally speaking - leaving the queen with a somewhat restricted repertoire.

This paper gives a first insight into the secret lives of social insects. It shows that workers retain a highly active transcriptome, possibly expressing many of the ancestral genes that are required for our solitary wasp to be successful on her own. Conversely, queens appear to shut down a lot of their genes, presumably in order to be really good reproducers.

More information:

CRG press release