Publication: Nature Communications
Author(s): Duncan EJ, Hyink O, Dearden PK.
Here, we demonstrate that chemical inhibition of Notch signalling can overcome the repressive effect of queen pheromone and promote ovary activity in adult worker honeybees. We show that Notch signalling acts on the earliest stages of oogenesis and that the removal of the queen corresponds with a loss of Notch protein in the germarium. We conclude that the ancient and pleiotropic Notch signalling pathway has been co-opted into constraining reproduction in worker honeybees and we provide the first molecular mechanism directly linking ovary activity in adult worker bees with the presence of the queen.