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Smells like queen spirit

20:00 EDT 16 Aug 2017 | AAAS

(University of California - Riverside) To reign supreme in a colony, queen ants exude a special scent, or pheromone, on the waxy surface of their body that suppresses ovary development in their sisters, rendering the latter reproductively inactive workers that find food, nurse the young and protect the colony. Now, researchers at the University of California, Riverside have begun to unravel the molecular mechanisms behind how ants sense these pheromones and how they control reproduction regulation and other social activities in ant communities.

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