Áreas de Trabajo
The molecular and neurobiological basis of complex social behavior and phenotypic/behavioral plasticity using ants as a study system
A major challenge in neuroscience is to unravel the mechanisms underlying the behavior of social groups. Social insect colonies present ideal novel systems to further our understanding of complex social behavior, because their collective behavior includes task allocation, cooperative broodcare, and sophisticated communication. Research in my lab focuses on identifying the molecules and circuits that control complex social behavior in ants and mechanisms underlying phenotypic plasticity.
We use a comparative approach to identify genes common to multiple ant and social insect species that may be involved in the regulation of social behavior and phenotypic plasticity. We primarily focus our mechanistic studies using two divergent ant species: the red harvester ant Pogonomyrmex barbatus and the clonal raider ant Ooceraea biroi.
Current projects in the lab focus on understanding:
- The role of neuromodulators and neuropeptides in social behavior.
- The molecular mechanisms underlying aging and healthspan.
- The mechanisms underlying phenotypic plasticity and caste development.
Fetter-Pruneda, I., Hart, T., Ulrich, Y., Gal, A., Oxley, P. R., Olivos-Cisneros, L., … & Kronauer, D. J.
An oxytocin/vasopressin-related neuropeptide modulates social foraging behavior in the clonal raider ant.
PLoS Biology, 19(6), e3001305
Ugalde-Muñiz P, Fetter-Pruneda I, Navarro L, García E, Chavarria, A.
Chronic systemic inflammation exacerbates neurotoxicity in a Parkinson’s disease model.
Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Chandra V#*, Fetter-Pruneda I#*, Oxley PR, Ritger AL, McKenzie SK, Libbrecht R, Kronauer DJC* (# Co-primer autor y *autor de correspondencia)
Social regulation of insulin signaling and the evolution of eusociality in ants
Science 361: 398-402
Yan H, Opachaloemphan C, Mancini G, Yang H, Gallitto M, Mlejnek J, Leibholz A, Haight K, Ghaninia M, Huo L, Perry M, Slone J, Zhou X, Traficante M, Penick CA, Dolezal K, Gokhale K, Stevens K, Fetter-Pruneda I, Bonasio R, Zwiebel LJ, Berger SL, Liebig J, Reinberg D, Desplan C
An engineered orco mutation produces aberrant social behavior and defective neural development in ants
Cell 170: 736-747
McKenzie SK, Fetter-Pruneda I, Ruta V, Kronauer DJC
Transcriptomics and neuroanatomy of the clonal raider ant implicate an expanded clade of odorant receptors in chemical communication
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 113: 14091–14096