Hox Gene Expression Leads to Differential Hind Leg Development between Honeybee Castes
Beyond the physiological and behavioral, differences in appendage morphology between the workers and queens of Apis mellifera are pre-eminent. Development of the hind legs diphenism characteristic of this corbiculate species is driven by a set of caste-preferentially expressed genes, such as those encoding cuticular protein genes, P450 and Hox proteins, in response to the naturally different diets offered to honeybees during the larval period.