Social behavior includes intraspecific interactions such as female choice, recognition of species, altruistic behavior, and animal society organization. Among the animals' species most integrated with their social environment are the social insects. Some species as the bees of Apini and Meliponini tribes exhibit a complex pattern known as eusocial, these highly eusocial species integrate the largest colonies and the most complex societies. Bees are an ideal group to study the bases of eusociality evolution because they have a great diversity of social life styles. Although the evolution of eusociality has been the subject of many studies, the genetic changes involved in the process have not been completely understood. Results from studies conducted so far provide a starting point for the connection between specific genetic alterations and the evolution of eusociality. However the fundamental questions involved in this process still need to be answered. New sequencing technologies and analyzes in transcripts expression patterns changes enable to visualize the global scene in the midst of complex networks and interactions. This type of analyzes is promising for the study of behavioral characteristics. In this context, this research project should generate important data for understanding the evolution of social behavior and the gene network interactions involved. Different species of bees as well as different stages of development will have the expression pattern of candidate genes analyzed.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: