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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28821570/juvenile-hormone-but-not-nutrition-or-social-cues-affects-reproductive-maturation-in-solitary-alkali-bees-nomia-melanderi
#1
Karen M Kapheim, Makenna M Johnson
Eusocial insect colonies are defined by extreme variation in reproductive activity among castes, but the ancestral conditions from which this variation arose are unknown. Investigating the factors that contribute to variation in reproductive physiology among solitary insects that are closely related to social species can help to fill this gap. We experimentally tested the role of nutrition, juvenile hormone, and social cues on reproductive maturation in solitary alkali bees (Halictidae: Nomia melanderi). We find that alkali bee females emerge from overwintering with small Dufour's glands and small ovaries, containing oocytes in the early stages of development...
August 18, 2017: Journal of Experimental Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28819196/specialized-odorant-receptors-in-social-insects-that-detect-cuticular-hydrocarbon-cues-and-candidate-pheromones
#2
Gregory M Pask, Jesse D Slone, Jocelyn G Millar, Prithwiraj Das, Jardel A Moreira, Xiaofan Zhou, Jan Bello, Shelley L Berger, Roberto Bonasio, Claude Desplan, Danny Reinberg, Jürgen Liebig, Laurence J Zwiebel, Anandasankar Ray
Eusocial insects use cuticular hydrocarbons as components of pheromones that mediate social behaviours, such as caste and nestmate recognition, and regulation of reproduction. In ants such as Harpegnathos saltator, the queen produces a pheromone which suppresses the development of workers' ovaries and if she is removed, workers can transition to a reproductive state known as gamergate. Here we functionally characterize a subfamily of odorant receptors (Ors) with a nine-exon gene structure that have undergone a massive expansion in ants and other eusocial insects...
August 17, 2017: Nature Communications
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28812668/evolutionary-transitions-towards-eusociality-in-snapping-shrimps
#3
Solomon Tin Chi Chak, J Emmett Duffy, Kristin M Hultgren, Dustin R Rubenstein
Animal social organization varies from complex societies where reproduction is dominated by a single individual (eusociality) to those where reproduction is more evenly distributed among group members (communal breeding). Yet, how simple groups transition evolutionarily to more complex societies remains unclear. Competing hypotheses suggest that eusociality and communal breeding are alternative evolutionary endpoints, or that communal breeding is an intermediate stage in the transition towards eusociality. We tested these alternative hypotheses in sponge-dwelling shrimps, Synalpheus spp...
March 20, 2017: Nature ecology & evolution
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28805645/evolutionary-feedbacks-between-insect-sociality-and-microbial-management
#4
REVIEW
Peter Hw Biedermann, Marko Rohlfs
Fitness-determining interactions with microbes-in particular fungi-have often been considered a by-product of social evolution in insects. Here, we take the view that both beneficial and harmful microbial consortia are major drivers of social behaviours in many insect systems-ranging from aggregation to eusociality. We propose evolutionary feedbacks between the insect sociality and microbial communities that strengthen mutualistic interactions with beneficial (dietary or defensive) microbes and simultaneously increase the capacity to defend against pathogens (i...
August 2017: Current Opinion in Insect Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28805643/the-evolution-of-cuticular-fertility-signals-in-eusocial-insects
#5
REVIEW
Adrian A Smith, Jürgen Liebig
A reproductive division of labor is a definitive characteristic of eusocial insect societies and it requires a means through which colony members can assess the presence and productivity of reproductive individuals. Cuticular hydrocarbons are the primary means of doing so across eusocial hymenopterans. However, recent experimental work presents conflicting views on how these chemical signals function, are interpreted by workers, and evolve. These recent advances include demonstrations of hydrocarbons as evolutionarily conserved 'queen pheromones' and as species-divergent 'fertility signals' used by both queens and workers...
August 2017: Current Opinion in Insect Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28805639/development-and-evolution-of-brain-allometry-in-wasps-vespidae-size-ecology-and-sociality
#6
REVIEW
Sean O'Donnell, Susan Bulova
We review research on brain development and brain evolution in the wasp family Vespidae. Basic vespid neuroanatomy and some aspects of functional neural circuitry are well-characterized, and genomic tools for exploring brain plasticity are being developed. Although relatively modest in terms of species richness, the Vespidae include species spanning much of the known range of animal social complexity, from solitary nesters to highly eusocial species with some of the largest known colonies and multiple reproductives...
August 2017: Current Opinion in Insect Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28805632/juvenile-hormone-and-hemimetabolan-eusociality-a-comparison-of-cockroaches-with-termites
#7
REVIEW
Judith Korb, Xavier Belles
Termites are social Dictyoptera that evolved eusociality independently from social Hymenoptera. They are characterized by unique developmental plasticity that is the basis of caste differentiation and social organization. As developmental plasticity is a result of endocrine regulation, in order to understand the evolution of termite sociality it is helpful to compare the endocrine underpinning of development between termites and cockroaches. Nijhout and Wheeler (1982) proposed that varying JH titers determine caste differentiation in termites...
August 2017: Current Opinion in Insect Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28802043/an-engineered-orco-mutation-produces-aberrant-social-behavior-and-defective-neural-development-in-ants
#8
Hua Yan, Comzit Opachaloemphan, Giacomo Mancini, Huan Yang, Matthew Gallitto, Jakub Mlejnek, Alexandra Leibholz, Kevin Haight, Majid Ghaninia, Lucy Huo, Michael Perry, Jesse Slone, Xiaofan Zhou, Maria Traficante, Clint A Penick, Kelly Dolezal, Kaustubh Gokhale, Kelsey Stevens, Ingrid Fetter-Pruneda, Roberto Bonasio, Laurence J Zwiebel, Shelley L Berger, Jürgen Liebig, Danny Reinberg, Claude Desplan
Ants exhibit cooperative behaviors and advanced forms of sociality that depend on pheromone-mediated communication. Odorant receptor neurons (ORNs) express specific odorant receptors (ORs) encoded by a dramatically expanded gene family in ants. In most eusocial insects, only the queen can transmit genetic information, restricting genetic studies. In contrast, workers in Harpegnathos saltator ants can be converted into gamergates (pseudoqueens) that can found entire colonies. This feature facilitated CRISPR-Cas9 generation of germline mutations in orco, the gene that encodes the obligate co-receptor of all ORs...
August 10, 2017: Cell
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28800885/methyl-farnesoate-epoxidase-mfe-gene-expression-and-juvenile-hormone-titers-in-the-life-cycle-of-a-highly-eusocial-stingless-bee-melipona-scutellaris
#9
Carlos Antônio Mendes Cardoso-Júnior, Renato Pereira Silva, Naiara Araújo Borges, Washington João de Carvalho, S Leal Walter, Zilá Luz Paulino Simões, Marcia Maria Gentile Bitondi, Carlos Ueira Vieira, Ana Maria Bonetti, Klaus Hartfelder
In social insects, juvenile hormone (JH) has acquired novel functions related to caste determination and division of labor among workers, and this is best evidenced in the honey bee. In contrast to honey bees, stingless bees are a much more diverse group of highly eusocial bees, and the genus Melipona has long called special attention due to a proposed genetic mechanism of caste determination. Here, we examined methyl farnesoate epoxidase (mfe) gene expression, encoding an enzyme relevant for the final step in JH biosynthesis, and measured the hemolymph JH titers for all life cycle stages of Melipona scutellaris queens and workers...
August 9, 2017: Journal of Insect Physiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28747483/multi-functional-roles-of-a-soldier-specific-volatile-as-a-worker-arrestant-primer-pheromone-and-an-antimicrobial-agent-in-a-termite
#10
Yuki Mitaka, Naoki Mori, Kenji Matsuura
Division of labour in eusocial insects is characterized by efficient communication systems based on pheromones. Among such insects, termites have evolved specialized sterile defenders, called soldiers. Because they are incapable of feeding themselves, it has been suggested that soldiers are sustained by workers and emit the pheromone arresting workers. However, such a soldier pheromone has not been identified in any termite species, and the details of the soldier-worker interaction remain to be explored. Here, we identified a soldier-specific volatile sesquiterpene as a worker arrestant, which also acts as a primer pheromone regulating soldier differentiation and fungistatic agent in a termite Reticulitermes speratus Chemical analyses revealed that (-)-β-elemene is the major component of soldier extract, and its authentic standard exhibited arrestant activity to workers and inhibited the differentiation from workers to soldiers...
July 26, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28701554/evolution-of-ageing-costs-of-reproduction-and-the-fecundity-longevity-trade-off-in-eusocial-insects
#11
Pierre Blacher, Timothy J Huggins, Andrew F G Bourke
Eusocial insects provide special opportunities to elucidate the evolution of ageing as queens have apparently evaded costs of reproduction and reversed the fecundity-longevity trade-off generally observed in non-social organisms. But how reproduction affects longevity in eusocial insects has rarely been tested experimentally. In this study, we took advantage of the reproductive plasticity of workers to test the causal role of reproduction in determining longevity in eusocial insects. Using the eusocial bumblebee Bombus terrestris, we found that, in whole colonies, in which workers could freely 'choose' whether to become reproductive, workers' level of ovarian activation was significantly positively associated with longevity and ovary-active workers significantly outlived ovary-inactive workers...
July 12, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28701376/the-nuclear-and-mitochondrial-genomes-of-the-facultatively-eusocial-orchid-bee-euglossa-dilemma
#12
Philipp Brand, Nicholas Saleh, Hailin Pan, Cai Li, Karen M Kapheim, Santiago R Ramírez
Bees provide indispensable pollination services to both agricultural crops and wild plant populations, and several species of bees have become important models for the study of learning and memory, plant-insect interactions and social behavior. Orchid bees (Apidae: Euglossini) are especially important to the fields of pollination ecology, evolution, and species conservation. Here we report the nuclear and mitochondrial genome sequences of the orchid bee Euglossa dilemma Bembé & Eltz. Euglossa dilemma was selected because it is widely distributed, highly abundant, and it was recently naturalized in the southeastern United States...
July 12, 2017: G3: Genes—Genomes—Genetics
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28696298/functional-characterization-of-odorant-receptors-in-the-ponerine-ant-harpegnathos-saltator
#13
Jesse D Slone, Gregory M Pask, Stephen T Ferguson, Jocelyn G Millar, Shelley L Berger, Danny Reinberg, Jürgen Liebig, Anandasankar Ray, Laurence J Zwiebel
Animals use a variety of sensory modalities-including visual, acoustic, and chemical-to sense their environment and interact with both conspecifics and other species. Such communication is especially critical in eusocial insects such as honey bees and ants, where cooperation is critical for survival and reproductive success. Various classes of chemoreceptors have been hypothesized to play essential roles in the origin and evolution of eusociality in ants, through their functional roles in pheromone detection that characterizes reproductive status and colony membership...
July 10, 2017: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28659767/hornets-have-it-a-conserved-olfactory-subsystem-for-social-recognition-in-hymenoptera
#14
Antoine Couto, Aniruddha Mitra, Denis Thiéry, Frédéric Marion-Poll, Jean-Christophe Sandoz
Eusocial Hymenoptera colonies are characterized by the presence of altruistic individuals, which rear their siblings instead of their own offspring. In the course of evolution, such sterile castes are thought to have emerged through the process of kin selection, altruistic traits being transmitted to following generation if they benefit relatives. By allowing kinship recognition, the detection of cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) might be instrumental for kin selection. In carpenter ants, a female-specific olfactory subsystem processes CHC information through antennal detection by basiconic sensilla...
2017: Frontiers in Neuroanatomy
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28643786/a-unified-model-of-hymenopteran-preadaptations-that-trigger-the-evolutionary-transition-to-eusociality
#15
Andrés E Quiñones, Ido Pen
Explaining the origin of eusociality, with strict division of labour between workers and reproductives, remains one of evolutionary biology's greatest challenges. Specific combinations of genetic, behavioural and demographic traits in Hymenoptera are thought to explain their relatively high frequency of eusociality, but quantitative models integrating such preadaptations are lacking. Here we use mathematical models to show that the joint evolution of helping behaviour and maternal sex ratio adjustment can synergistically trigger both a behavioural change from solitary to eusocial breeding, and a demographic change from a life cycle with two reproductive broods to a life cycle in which an unmated cohort of female workers precedes a final generation of dispersing reproductives...
June 23, 2017: Nature Communications
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28624394/reduced-foraging-investment-as-an-adaptation-to-patchy-food-sources-a-phasic-army-ant-simulation
#16
Serafino Teseo, Francesco Delloro
Colonies of several ant species within the subfamily Dorylinae alternate stereotypical discrete phases of foraging and reproduction. Such phasic cycles are thought to be adaptive because they minimize the amount of foraging and the related costs, and at the same time enhance the colony-level ability to rely on patchily distributed food sources. In order to investigate these hypotheses, we use here a simple computational approach to study the population dynamics of two species of virtual ant colonies that differ quantitatively in their foraging investment...
June 15, 2017: Journal of Theoretical Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28609463/uric-acid-an-important-antioxidant-contributing-to-survival-in-termites
#17
Eisuke Tasaki, Hiroki Sakurai, Masaru Nitao, Kenji Matsuura, Yoshihito Iuchi
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are generated spontaneously in all organisms and cause oxidative damage to biomolecules when present in excess. Accumulated oxidative damage accelerates aging; enhanced antioxidant capacity may be a positive factor for longevity. Recently, numerous studies of aging and longevity have been performed using short-lived animals, however, longevity mechanisms remain unknown. Here we show that a termite Reticulitermes speratus that is thought to be long-lived eusocial insect than other solitary insects uses large quantities of uric acid as an antioxidant against ROS...
2017: PloS One
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28608545/an-alternative-pathway-to-eusociality-exploring-the-molecular-and-functional-basis-of-fortress-defense
#18
Sarah P Lawson, Leah T Sigle, Abigail L Lind, Andrew W Legan, Jessica N Mezzanotte, Hans-Willi Honegger, Patrick Abbot
Some animals express a form of eusociality known as "fortress defense," in which defense rather than brood care is the primary social act. Aphids are small plant-feeding insects, but like termites, some species express division of labor and castes of aggressive juvenile "soldiers." What is the functional basis of fortress defense eusociality in aphids? Previous work showed that the acquisition of venoms might be a key innovation in aphid social evolution. We show that the lethality of aphid soldiers derives in part from the induction of exaggerated immune responses in insects they attack...
August 2017: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28568812/second-order-cooperation-cooperative-offspring-as-a-living-public-good-arising-from-second-order-selection-on-non-cooperative-individuals
#19
Antoine Frénoy, François Taddei, Dusan Misevic
Switching rate between cooperating and non-cooperating genotypes is a crucial social evolution factor, often neglected by game theory-inspired theoretical and experimental frameworks. We show that the evolution of alleles increasing the mutation or phenotypic switching rates toward cooperation is in itself a social dilemma. Although cooperative offspring are often unlikely to reproduce, due to high cost of cooperation, they can be seen both as a living public good and a part of the extended parental phenotype...
May 31, 2017: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28559110/protein-restriction-affects-sperm-number-but-not-sperm-viability-in-male-ants
#20
Francisco Dávila, Serge Aron
Sperm cells are costly to produce; diet should therefore affect sperm number and/or viability. In non-social insects and vertebrates, there is compelling evidence that diet influences sperm production. Less is known about this relationship in eusocial hymenopterans (all ants and some bees and wasps), whose mating systems impose unique selective pressures on sperm production. Males face physiological constraints: they acquire all of the resources they will use in future reproductive efforts as larvae and emerge from the pupal stage with a fixed, non-renewable amount of sperm...
May 27, 2017: Journal of Insect Physiology
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