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Keywords:

  • brain;
  • gene regulation;
  • GnRH;
  • Haplochromis burtoni;
  • honey bee;
  • PKG;
  • social behavior;
  • sociogenomics;
  • vasopressin;
  • vole

Molecular analyses of social behavior are distinguished by the use of an unusually broad array of animal models. This is advantageous for a number of reasons, including the opportunity for comparative genomic analyses that address fundamental issues in the molecular biology of social behavior. One issue relates to the kinds of changes in genome structure and function that occur to give rise to social behavior. This paper considers one aspect of this issue, whether social evolution involves new genes, new gene regulation, or both. This is accomplished by briefly reviewing findings from studies of the fish Haplochromis burtoni, the vole Microtus ochrogaster, and the honey bee Apis mellifera, with a more detailed and prospective consideration of the honey bee.