25 June 2019 Rhythms in Foraging Behavior and Expression Patterns of the Foraging Gene in Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in relation to Photoperiod
Yanyuan Lei, Yangyang Zhou, Lihua Lü, Yurong He
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The foraging gene (for) is associated with foraging and other associated behaviors in social insect species. Photoperiod is known to entrain the rhythmic biological functions of ants; however, how photoperiod might influence the intensity and duration of foraging, and the expression of for, remains unexplored. This study determined the correlation between rhythm in foraging behavior and expression of the foraging gene (Sifor) mRNA in red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren. Foragers were exposed to three photoperiod conditions (12:12 [L:D], 24:0 [L:D], and 0:24 [L:D]) in the laboratory and foraging activities were recorded using a video-computer recording system. Sifor expression in the foragers was tested using real-time reverse-transcription quantitative PCR. Results revealed that foraging activity rhythm and Sifor expression profile were unimodal under all three photoperiod conditions. Levels of foraging activity were associated with photoperiodic modification, a stable phase difference between the onset of activity and the onset of gene expression was discovered. Light-dark transients stimulated foraging activity in 12:12 (L:D). There were significant daily oscillations (amplitude of 0.21 ± 0.08 for 12:12 [L:D], 0.12 ± 0.02 for 24:0 [L:D], and 0.09 ± 0.01 for 0:24 [L:D]) in the expression of Sifor. A positive relationship (r = 0.5903, P < 0.01) was found between the expression level of Sifor and foraging activity, which indicated that Sifor is linked to some extent to foraging behavior. Our results demonstrated that foragers could adjust the rhythms in foraging behavior according to light–dark cycle and suggested that Sifor may play an important role in the response of S. invicta to photoperiod.

© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.
Yanyuan Lei, Yangyang Zhou, Lihua Lü, and Yurong He "Rhythms in Foraging Behavior and Expression Patterns of the Foraging Gene in Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in relation to Photoperiod," Journal of Economic Entomology 112(6), 2923-2930, (25 June 2019). https://doi.org/10.1093/jee/toz175
Received: 21 December 2018; Accepted: 30 May 2019; Published: 25 June 2019

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foraging gene
red imported fire ant
rhythms in foraging behavior
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