Isolation disrupts social interactions and destabilizes brain development in bumblebees.

TitleIsolation disrupts social interactions and destabilizes brain development in bumblebees.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsZ Wang, Y, McKenzie-Smith, GC, Liu, W, Cho, HJin, Pereira, T, Dhanerawala, Z, Shaevitz, JW, Kocher, SD
JournalCurr Biol
Date Published2022 Jun 20
KeywordsAnimals, Bees, Brain, Social Behavior, Social Interaction, Social Isolation

<p>Social isolation, particularly in early life, leads to deleterious physiological and behavioral outcomes. Here, we leverage new high-throughput tools to comprehensively investigate the impact of isolation in the bumblebee, Bombus impatiens, from behavioral, molecular, and neuroanatomical perspectives. We reared newly emerged bumblebees in complete isolation, in small groups, or in their natal colony, and then analyzed their behaviors while alone or paired with another bee. We find that when alone, individuals of each rearing condition show distinct behavioral signatures. When paired with a conspecific, bees reared in small groups or in the natal colony express similar behavioral profiles. Isolated bees, however, showed increased social interactions. To identify the neurobiological correlates of these differences, we quantified brain gene expression and measured the volumes of key brain regions for a subset of individuals from each rearing condition. Overall, we find that isolation increases social interactions and disrupts gene expression and brain development. Limited social experience in small groups is sufficient to preserve typical patterns of brain development and social behavior.</p>

Alternate JournalCurr Biol
PubMed ID35584698
PubMed Central IDPMC9233014
Grant ListDP2 GM137424 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
F32 NS010489 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States
U19 NS104648 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States