Hagai Shpigler

Hagai Shpigler
Agricultural Research Organization ARO | aro · Department of Entomology, Nematology and Chemistry

Doctor of Philosophy

About

43
Publications
4,962
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548
Citations
Introduction
My scientific work is on the biology of bees. In my lab we ask questions on the mechanism of bees biology, its interaction with pathogens and its evolutionary conservation. We use an integrative approach and study bees from several aspects including behavior, genomics, endocrinology and physiology. My main animal models are honey bees, and bumble bees.
Additional affiliations
July 2007 - April 2013
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Position
  • PhD Student
Description
  • The influence of social factors and juvenile hormone on the reproduction and division of labor of bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) workers
Education
July 2007 - April 2013
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Field of study
  • Evolution
October 2004 - May 2007
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Field of study
  • Genetics
October 2001 - August 2004
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (43)
Article
Juvenile hormone (JH) is a modulator of many physiological transitions in insects, including molting, metamorphosis, diapause, and reproduction. These processes often include metabolic changes. Here we show that JH accelerates metabolic rate in bumble bees (Bombus terrestris). We reduced JH levels in worker bumble bees by removing their corpora all...
Article
Full-text available
Gonadotropic hormones coordinate processes in diverse tissues regulating animal reproductive physiology and behavior. Juvenile hormone (JH) is the ancient and most common gonadotropin in insects, but not in advanced eusocial honey bees and some ants. To start probing the evolutionary basis of this change, we combined endocrine manipulations, transc...
Preprint
Full-text available
Gonadotropic hormones coordinate processes in diverse tissues regulating animal reproductive physiology and behavior. Juvenile hormone (JH) is the ancient and most common gonadotropin in insects, but not in advanced eusocial honey bees and ants. To probe the evolutionary basis of this change, we combined endocrine manipulations, transcriptomics, an...
Article
Full-text available
Colonies of the bumblebee Bombus terrestris are characterized by wide phenotypic variability among genetically similar full-sister workers, suggesting a major role for epigenetic processes. Here, we report a high level of ADAR-mediated RNA editing in the bumblebee, despite the lack of an ADAR1-homologue. We identify 1.15 million unique genomic site...
Article
Full-text available
Honey bee populations have been declining precipitously over the past decade, and multiple causative factors have been identified. Recent research indicates that these frequently co-occurring stressors interact, often in unpredictable ways, therefore it has become important to develop robust methods to assess their effects both in isolation and in...
Data
Average eggs laid per day, maximum eggs laid per day, and laying vs. non-laying queens by experiment and treatment. (DOCX)
Article
Social interactions can be divided into two categories, affiliative and agonistic. How neurogenomic responses reflect these opposing valences is a central question in the biological embedding of experience. To address this question, we exposed honey bees to a queen larva, which evokes nursing, an affiliative alloparenting interaction, and measured...
Article
Social challenges like territorial intrusions evoke behavioral responses in widely diverging species. Recent work has revealed that evolutionary “toolkits” – genes and modules with lineage‐specific variations but deep conservation of function – participate in the behavioral response to social challenge. Here, we develop a multi‐species computationa...
Article
Full-text available
Sociobiological theory proposed that similarities between human and animal societies reflect similar evolutionary origins. We used comparative genomics to test this controversial idea by determining whether superficial behavioral similarities between humans and honey bees reflect shared molecular mechanisms. We found unique and significant enrichme...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding how social experiences are represented in the brain and shape future responses is a major challenge in the study of behavior. We addressed this problem by studying behavioral, transcriptomic and epigenetic responses to intrusion in honey bees. Previous research showed that initial exposure to an intruder provokes an immediate attack;...
Chapter
Insect societies are defined by an intricate division of labor among individuals. There is a reproductive division of labor between queens and workers, and a division of labor among workers for all activities related to colony growth and development. The different castes in an insect society and the diverse roles they play are extreme manifestation...
Article
A hallmark of insect societies is a division of labor among workers specializing in different tasks. In bumblebees the division of labor is related to body size; relatively small workers are more likely to stay inside the nest and tend (“nurse”) brood, whereas their larger sisters are more likely to forage. Despite their ecological and economic imp...
Article
Full-text available
Care of offspring is a form of affiliative behavior that is fundamental to studies of animal social behavior. Insects do not figure prominently in this topic because Drosophila melanogaster and other traditional models show little if any paternal or maternal care. However, the eusocial honey bee exhibits cooperative brood care with larvae receiving...
Article
Full-text available
The evolution of advanced sociality in bees is associated with apparent modifications in juvenile hormone (JH) signaling. By contrast to most insects in which JH is a gonadotropin regulating female fertility, in the highly eusocial honey bee (Apis mellifera) JH has lost its gonadotrophic function in adult females, and instead regulates age-related...
Article
Full-text available
Bombus terrestris colonies go through two major phases: the "pre-competition phase" in which the queen is the sole reproducer and aggression is rare, and the "competition phase" in which workers aggressively compete over reproduction. Conflicts over reproduction are partially regulated by a group of octyl esters that are produced in Dufour's gland...
Article
In many social insects, including bumblebees, the division of labor between workers relates to body size, but little is known about the factors influencing larval development and final size. We confirmed and extend the evidence that in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris the adult bee body size is positively correlated with colony age. We next performe...
Article
Female bumble bee workers of the same species often show a profound body size variation that is linked to a division of labour. Large individuals are more likely to forage whereas small individuals are more likely to perform in-nest activities. A higher sensory sensitivity, stronger circadian rhythms as well as better learning and memory performanc...
Article
Full-text available
Chronic neuropathic pain is affected by specifics of the precipitating neural pathology, psychosocial factors, and by genetic predisposition. Little is known about the identity of predisposing genes. Using an integrative approach, we discovered that CACNG2 significantly affects susceptibility to chronic pain following nerve injury. CACNG2 encodes f...
Article
Full-text available
Regulation of worker behavior by dominant queens or workers is a hallmark of insect societies, but the underlying molecular mechanisms and their evolutionary conservation are not well understood. Honey bee and bumble bee colonies consist of a single reproductive queen and facultatively sterile workers. The queens' influences on the workers are medi...
Data
Alignments of the insect KR-H1 orthologs. Figure legend for the additional file 2 fig. S1.
Data
Full-text available
Alignments of the insect KR-H1 orthologs. Alignment of KR-H1 orthologs from 20 insect species
Data
Primers for amplifying Bombus Kr-h1. Sequences of the primers used for cloning of the Bombus terrestris Kr-h1 ortholog.
Data
Primer sequences for quantitative real-time PCR. Sequences of the B. terrestris, Kr-h1 and EF1a primers used for qRT-PCR.
Article
We aimed to locate a chronic pain-associated QTL in the rat (Rattus norvegicus) based on previous findings of a QTL (pain1) on chromosome 15 of the mouse (Mus musculus). The work was based on rat selection lines HA (high autotomy) and LA (low autotomy) which show a contrasting pain phenotype in response to nerve injury in the neuroma model of neuro...

Questions

Question (1)
Question
I am looking for a reference which measures the division of labor in honey bee colonies as a unit, what is the percentages of bees in each task?

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
JH signaling influences social behavior in bees, but its role is different in the highly social honeybee, and is solitary insects. In order to understand how a pivotal endocrine system modified its function along the evolution of bees, we use various physiological, behavioral, and molecular approached focusing on bumblebees which represent an intermediate stage of social complexity.
Project
A new $3 million grant from the Simons Foundation to the Institute for Genomic Biology will fund a multidisciplinary collaborative effort by Gene Networks in Neural & Developmental Plasticity (GNDP) theme members to search for similarities in the ways that the brains of many different species, including our own, produce social behavior. “Our goal,” said GNDP Theme Leader and Principal Investigator Lisa Stubbs, “is to tie the truths we extract from each species together, into a fundamental model of how animal brains respond to social stimulus.” Just as there is diversity in the physical structure of animals, there is great variation in the structure of their social interactions with other members of their own species. These interactions can often be grouped into the same broad categories—aggression, mate selection, care of young—but the dynamics vary widely between species. A female prairie vole mates with one male for life; in contrast, a female mouse shows no such fidelity, while a female stickleback fish allows herself to be chased away by her mate, and a praying mantis female might make a meal of hers. On a basic level, though, there are shared principles of social behavior across species, just as there are in anatomy. Animals rely on information from others to guide their behavior during social interactions, and that information, received as primary input, is processed by sets of connected neurons that operate via molecular actions that are deeply conserved, even if the identities of those sets of neurons are not.IGB researchers will be taking advantage of these commonalities—shared categories of social interactions, and conserved brain biochemistry—to ask whether there are also shared gene actions that guide social behavior. Alison Bell, Associate Professor of Animal Biology, described the planned study: “we will measure the response to what we think are comparable behaviors in honey bees, stickleback fish, and mice, and look for responses in the same genes, networks, or pathways in each of these organisms.