Effect of genotype but not of age or caste on olfactory learning performance in the honey bee, Apis mellifera

Seetha Bhagavan, Shirley Benatar, Susan Cobey, Brian Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Abstract. The ability to change expression of a behaviour through experience with contingencies among important stimuli can enhance the survival and fitness of animals under certain ecological conditions. It would seem paradoxical if strong variability in learning performance persists even when those conditions are met. In the honey bee, learning about the relationship between floral odours and the rewards offered by flowers is important for colony survival. Yet several studies have identified a significant amount of inter-individual variability in olfactory learning performance among workers within colonies. This variability could be due to changes in learning performance due to age, to caste-specific alteration of motivational state, or to genotypic variability among paternal lines within colonies. Experiments reported herein were designed to establish the contribution of all three variables under controlled environmental conditions within which significant variability in a measure of learning performance exists. The results indicate that, at least under these conditions and when genotype is not manipulated, neither age nor caste had an effect on motivational state or learning performance. Genotype was the only variable that could account for a substantial portion of the variability within colonies of honey bees. Therefore, manipulation of genotype will be necessary in future studies designed to establish the reasons underlying variability in learning performance in natural populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1357-1369
Number of pages13
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Volume48
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1994
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

caste
honey
Apis mellifera
bee
honey bees
genotype
learning
honey bee colonies
effect
odor
flower
fitness
odors
environmental conditions
flowers
environmental factors
animal
animals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

Effect of genotype but not of age or caste on olfactory learning performance in the honey bee, Apis mellifera. / Bhagavan, Seetha; Benatar, Shirley; Cobey, Susan; Smith, Brian.

In: Animal Behaviour, Vol. 48, No. 6, 12.1994, p. 1357-1369.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bhagavan, Seetha ; Benatar, Shirley ; Cobey, Susan ; Smith, Brian. / Effect of genotype but not of age or caste on olfactory learning performance in the honey bee, Apis mellifera. In: Animal Behaviour. 1994 ; Vol. 48, No. 6. pp. 1357-1369.
@article{92c18845046c4faf957237bde25d848d,
title = "Effect of genotype but not of age or caste on olfactory learning performance in the honey bee, Apis mellifera",
abstract = "Abstract. The ability to change expression of a behaviour through experience with contingencies among important stimuli can enhance the survival and fitness of animals under certain ecological conditions. It would seem paradoxical if strong variability in learning performance persists even when those conditions are met. In the honey bee, learning about the relationship between floral odours and the rewards offered by flowers is important for colony survival. Yet several studies have identified a significant amount of inter-individual variability in olfactory learning performance among workers within colonies. This variability could be due to changes in learning performance due to age, to caste-specific alteration of motivational state, or to genotypic variability among paternal lines within colonies. Experiments reported herein were designed to establish the contribution of all three variables under controlled environmental conditions within which significant variability in a measure of learning performance exists. The results indicate that, at least under these conditions and when genotype is not manipulated, neither age nor caste had an effect on motivational state or learning performance. Genotype was the only variable that could account for a substantial portion of the variability within colonies of honey bees. Therefore, manipulation of genotype will be necessary in future studies designed to establish the reasons underlying variability in learning performance in natural populations.",
author = "Seetha Bhagavan and Shirley Benatar and Susan Cobey and Brian Smith",
year = "1994",
month = "12",
doi = "10.1006/anbe.1994.1372",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "48",
pages = "1357--1369",
journal = "Animal Behaviour",
issn = "0003-3472",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Effect of genotype but not of age or caste on olfactory learning performance in the honey bee, Apis mellifera

AU - Bhagavan, Seetha

AU - Benatar, Shirley

AU - Cobey, Susan

AU - Smith, Brian

PY - 1994/12

Y1 - 1994/12

N2 - Abstract. The ability to change expression of a behaviour through experience with contingencies among important stimuli can enhance the survival and fitness of animals under certain ecological conditions. It would seem paradoxical if strong variability in learning performance persists even when those conditions are met. In the honey bee, learning about the relationship between floral odours and the rewards offered by flowers is important for colony survival. Yet several studies have identified a significant amount of inter-individual variability in olfactory learning performance among workers within colonies. This variability could be due to changes in learning performance due to age, to caste-specific alteration of motivational state, or to genotypic variability among paternal lines within colonies. Experiments reported herein were designed to establish the contribution of all three variables under controlled environmental conditions within which significant variability in a measure of learning performance exists. The results indicate that, at least under these conditions and when genotype is not manipulated, neither age nor caste had an effect on motivational state or learning performance. Genotype was the only variable that could account for a substantial portion of the variability within colonies of honey bees. Therefore, manipulation of genotype will be necessary in future studies designed to establish the reasons underlying variability in learning performance in natural populations.

AB - Abstract. The ability to change expression of a behaviour through experience with contingencies among important stimuli can enhance the survival and fitness of animals under certain ecological conditions. It would seem paradoxical if strong variability in learning performance persists even when those conditions are met. In the honey bee, learning about the relationship between floral odours and the rewards offered by flowers is important for colony survival. Yet several studies have identified a significant amount of inter-individual variability in olfactory learning performance among workers within colonies. This variability could be due to changes in learning performance due to age, to caste-specific alteration of motivational state, or to genotypic variability among paternal lines within colonies. Experiments reported herein were designed to establish the contribution of all three variables under controlled environmental conditions within which significant variability in a measure of learning performance exists. The results indicate that, at least under these conditions and when genotype is not manipulated, neither age nor caste had an effect on motivational state or learning performance. Genotype was the only variable that could account for a substantial portion of the variability within colonies of honey bees. Therefore, manipulation of genotype will be necessary in future studies designed to establish the reasons underlying variability in learning performance in natural populations.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0028165228&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0028165228&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1006/anbe.1994.1372

DO - 10.1006/anbe.1994.1372

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0028165228

VL - 48

SP - 1357

EP - 1369

JO - Animal Behaviour

JF - Animal Behaviour

SN - 0003-3472

IS - 6

ER -