Epigenetic (re)programming of caste-specific behavior in the ant Camponotus floridanus

Daniel F. Simola, Riley J. Graham, Cristina M. Brady, Brittany L. Enzmann, Claude Desplan, Anandasankar Ray, Laurence J. Zwiebel, Roberto Bonasio, Danny Reinberg, Juergen Liebig, Shelley L. Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Eusocial insects organize themselves into behavioral castes whose regulation has been proposed to involve epigenetic processes, including histone modification. In the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus, morphologically distinct worker castes called minors and majors exhibit pronounced differences in foraging and scouting behaviors. We found that these behaviors are regulated by histone acetylation likely catalyzed by the conserved acetyltransferase CBP. Transcriptome and chromatin analysis in brains of scouting minors fed pharmacological inhibitors of CBP and histone deacetylases (HDACs) revealed hundreds of genes linked to hyperacetylated regions targeted by CBP. Majors rarely forage, but injection of a HDAC inhibitor or small interfering RNAs against the HDAC Rpd3 into young major brains induced and sustained foraging in a CBP-dependent manner. Our results suggest that behavioral plasticity in animals may be regulated in an epigenetic manner via histone modification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberaac6633
JournalScience
Volume351
Issue number6268
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

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Histone Deacetylases
Ants
Histone Code
Epigenomics
Social Class
Minors
Genetic Epigenesis
Acetyltransferases
Brain
Gene Expression Profiling
Acetylation
Histones
Small Interfering RNA
Chromatin
Insects
Pharmacology
Injections
Genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Simola, D. F., Graham, R. J., Brady, C. M., Enzmann, B. L., Desplan, C., Ray, A., ... Berger, S. L. (2016). Epigenetic (re)programming of caste-specific behavior in the ant Camponotus floridanus. Science, 351(6268), [aac6633]. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aac6633

Epigenetic (re)programming of caste-specific behavior in the ant Camponotus floridanus. / Simola, Daniel F.; Graham, Riley J.; Brady, Cristina M.; Enzmann, Brittany L.; Desplan, Claude; Ray, Anandasankar; Zwiebel, Laurence J.; Bonasio, Roberto; Reinberg, Danny; Liebig, Juergen; Berger, Shelley L.

In: Science, Vol. 351, No. 6268, aac6633, 01.01.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Simola, DF, Graham, RJ, Brady, CM, Enzmann, BL, Desplan, C, Ray, A, Zwiebel, LJ, Bonasio, R, Reinberg, D, Liebig, J & Berger, SL 2016, 'Epigenetic (re)programming of caste-specific behavior in the ant Camponotus floridanus', Science, vol. 351, no. 6268, aac6633. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aac6633
Simola DF, Graham RJ, Brady CM, Enzmann BL, Desplan C, Ray A et al. Epigenetic (re)programming of caste-specific behavior in the ant Camponotus floridanus. Science. 2016 Jan 1;351(6268). aac6633. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aac6633
Simola, Daniel F. ; Graham, Riley J. ; Brady, Cristina M. ; Enzmann, Brittany L. ; Desplan, Claude ; Ray, Anandasankar ; Zwiebel, Laurence J. ; Bonasio, Roberto ; Reinberg, Danny ; Liebig, Juergen ; Berger, Shelley L. / Epigenetic (re)programming of caste-specific behavior in the ant Camponotus floridanus. In: Science. 2016 ; Vol. 351, No. 6268.
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