Epigenomics and the control of fate, form and function in social insects

Mat Welch, Ryan Lister

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

19 Citations (Scopus)


Phenotypic plasticity is central to the success of social insects. The ability to form functionally and behaviourally diverse phenotypes from a common genome enables synthesis of highly specialised castes that carry out unique roles essential for colony survival. There is accumulating evidence that the epigenome may underlie some of this diversity in social insects. Here we discuss recent research into the role of epigenomic control of behavioural and developmental caste determination in social insects. Furthermore we suggest future strategies for unravelling the complex mechanisms by which the epigenome may shape these diverse societies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-38
JournalCurrent Opinion in Insect Science
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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