Please remember which forum this is. Advocating treatments is forbidden as is disparaging commercial beekeepers.
I keep forgetting about that PM function. Hitting Reply is too easy. Tracking again.
"Epigenetics more important than genetics. It's how the genes are expressed.
Queens and workers wildly different, but genetically identical. What your grandparents experienced affects your expression of genes.
If a parent colony is exposed to a parasite, the next generation is better
prepared for it."
That sounded Lamarkian. I commented.
>>"...If a parent colony is exposed to a parasite, the next generation is better
prepared for it."
>That sounded Lamarkian.
It sounds VERY Lamarkian. But it's ok. They gave it a new name...
Am I missing something? (duh!!,stupid question) But, isn't that statement, "If a parent colony...", aort of inherently intuitive? If the previous generation survives something, isn't it entirely likely that the next generation will be prepared, to a degree, to survive the same thing? Aren't the survivor genes passed down to the offspring?
I'm not a genetisist, I just think I understand what I probably don't.
Here's a Lamarckian anecdote. After generations of people wearing shoes that were too tight, my friend Thomas was born with only four toes on each foot.
But seriously, Lamarck's ideas pertain to things like giraffes stretching their necks and over time their necks get longer. It's an entirely different concept to epigenetics where the genes are already there, they are just expressed differently.
provide genetic possibilities to their offspring. The way in which the genetic information combines and is then expressed is the offspring's genotype. Neo-Darwinists believe that it was all in the genetic code and that the only adaptation to environment was by chance or by mutation. Otherwise the combination wasn't "fit" and the offspring was not competitive.
Lamark and to some extent Darwin himself, believed that there was some interplay between the environment and the potential hereditary handoff to the offspring. With the Neo-Darwinist movement of the early 20th Century leading up to the discovery of DNA and subsequent understanding of how DNA works, there was no other interpretation: you got what you got and if it wasn't a good combination, too bad. A few random changes and maybe, just maybe, you'd have a better combination.
With Epigenetics, there is understanding that there are processes beyond the template DNA that can occur in the organism that can influence the template DNA to express a different result then what is hard-coded. (All protein production here). The Neo-Darwinist's blockade of anything other then DNA's basic genomic template ended with Epigenetics. We know now that there is SO MUCH going on so quickly at a molecular level that we know we don't have too much of a handle on the mechanisms. We do know that there can be environmental stimulus that can cause the protein making mechanisms in the cell to influence the expression of the basic coding template DNA that is inherently different then the original coding DNA's output. That's a gross oversimplification of Epigenetics. However, this does not necessarily mean that resulting "adaptations" in organisms will be heritable or significant. Lamark and Darwin stated that the organism could adapt to environmental stimulus and pass along these adaptations to it's offspring.
The bottom line in animal husbandry, is still selection. Pick the most suitable ones. Breed from them. This technique has been working for a long
For background reading:
Last edited by adamf; 03-07-2012 at 03:17 PM. Reason: fixed a link
using the principle of Occam's Razor , we can assume that the most genetically suitable queens survive when there is no treatment to mask the negative effects of pathogens.
The underlying method is moot for now: breeders practicing selection for fitness (read healthy, productive bees) using only the population's best genetic combinations, will come up with some queens that will be desirable.
Performing selection in this scenario is what will make the outcome succeed. People are doing this now.