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Possible to change worker ant to a queen?

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:51 pm
by senolytic
It's been done in at least one species. So simple, too! Expose a worker to insulin (generally non-prescription in Canada) and they become queens. This could make establishing a colony much easier?


Here's a New York Times link that I hope isn't behind a paywall:


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/26/science/ants-genes-queen.html



“Insulin signaling — and this ILP2 version of insulin — seems to be at the core of these queen-worker differences,” Dr. Kronauer said.

In one species, the clonal raider ant, Ooceraea biroi, the team added this hormone to worker ants and activated their ovaries. This suggests that an extra dose of insulin may make the difference between foraging for food like a worker or laying eggs like a queen."

Re: Possible to change worker ant to a queen?

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:27 pm
by Batspiderfish
The changes which make a queen happen during the larval stages. Stimulating ovulation is interesting, but most workers are already capable of doing that under the right conditions. Regardless, a queen still needs to mate in order to produce workers.