• Authors: Glastad KM. et al.
  • Year: 2020
  • Journal: Mol Cell 77 338-351
  • Applications: in vivo / DsiRNA / in vivo-jetPEI


Complexation : Incubation 15 min RT. Complexes were made fresh for each batch of injection and never stored. Ant were paint-marked after transfection. Efficience Knock down mesured 24h after injection


Ants acquire distinct morphological and behavioral phenotypes arising from a common genome, underscoring the importance of epigenetic regulation. In Camponotus floridanus, Major workers defend the colony, but can be epigenetically reprogrammed to forage for food analogously to Minor workers. Here, we utilize reprogramming to investigate natural behavioral specification. Reprogramming of Majors upregulates Minor-biased genes and downregulates Major-biased genes, engaging molecular pathways fundamental to foraging behavior. We discover the neuronal corepressor for element-1-silencing transcription factor (CoREST) is upregulated upon reprogramming and required for the epigenetic switch to foraging. Genome-wide profiling during reprogramming reveals CoREST represses expression of enzymes that degrade juvenile hormone (JH), a hormone elevated upon reprogramming. High CoREST, low JH-degrader expression, and high JH levels are mirrored in natural Minors, revealing parallel mechanisms of natural and reprogrammed foraging. These results unveil chromatin regulation via CoREST as central to programming of ant social behavior, with potential far-reaching implications for behavioral epigenetics.