A chromatin link to caste identity in the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus

Daniel F. Simola, Chaoyang Ye, Navdeep S. Mutti, Kelly Doleza, Roberto Bonasio, Juergen Liebig, Danny Reinberg, Shelley L. Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

72 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In many ant species, sibling larvae follow alternative ontogenetic trajectories that generate striking variation in morphology and behavior among adults. These organism-level outcomes are often determined by environmental rather than genetic factors. Therefore, epigenetic mechanisms may mediate the expression of adult polyphenisms. We produced the first genome-wide maps of chromatin structure in a eusocial insect and found that gene-proximal changes in histone modifications, notably H3K27 acetylation, discriminate two female worker and male castes in Camponotus floridanus ants and partially explain differential gene expression between castes. Genes showing coordinated changes in H3K27ac and RNA implicate muscle development, neuronal regulation, and sensory responses in modulating caste identity. Binding sites of the acetyltransferase CBP harbor the greatest caste variation in H3K27ac, are enriched with motifs for conserved transcription factors, and show evolutionary expansion near developmental and neuronal genes. These results suggest that environmental effects on caste identity may be mediated by differential recruitment of CBP to chromatin. We propose that epigenetic mechanisms that modify chromatin structure may help orchestrate the generation and maintenance of polyphenic caste morphology and social behavior in ants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)486-496
Number of pages11
JournalGenome Research
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2013

Fingerprint

Ants
Social Class
Chromatin
Epigenomics
Histone Code
Insect Genes
Developmental Genes
Acetyltransferases
Muscle Development
Social Behavior
Acetylation
Larva
Siblings
Transcription Factors
Binding Sites
Maintenance
Genome
RNA
Gene Expression
Genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

Cite this

Simola, D. F., Ye, C., Mutti, N. S., Doleza, K., Bonasio, R., Liebig, J., ... Berger, S. L. (2013). A chromatin link to caste identity in the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus. Genome Research, 23(3), 486-496. https://doi.org/10.1101/gr.148361.112

A chromatin link to caste identity in the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus. / Simola, Daniel F.; Ye, Chaoyang; Mutti, Navdeep S.; Doleza, Kelly; Bonasio, Roberto; Liebig, Juergen; Reinberg, Danny; Berger, Shelley L.

In: Genome Research, Vol. 23, No. 3, 03.2013, p. 486-496.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Simola, DF, Ye, C, Mutti, NS, Doleza, K, Bonasio, R, Liebig, J, Reinberg, D & Berger, SL 2013, 'A chromatin link to caste identity in the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus', Genome Research, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 486-496. https://doi.org/10.1101/gr.148361.112
Simola, Daniel F. ; Ye, Chaoyang ; Mutti, Navdeep S. ; Doleza, Kelly ; Bonasio, Roberto ; Liebig, Juergen ; Reinberg, Danny ; Berger, Shelley L. / A chromatin link to caste identity in the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus. In: Genome Research. 2013 ; Vol. 23, No. 3. pp. 486-496.
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