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Polistes dominula

Lena Grinsted, Jeremy Field
Abstract: In cooperative breeders, subordinates that have alternative reproductive options are expected to stay and help dominant breeders only as long as they contribute to group productivity, if their fitness is linked with colony success. Female Polistes dominula paper wasps live as cooperative breeders in small groups of typically fewer than 10 females. Subordinates tend to have high-quality outside options, and so could choose alternative breeding tactics if their work efforts increased productivity negligibly...
2018: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Carlo Polidori, Agustín Pastor, Alberto Jorge, José Pertusa
Polistes paper wasps can be used to monitor trace metal contaminants, but the effects of pollution on the health of these insects are still unknown. We evaluated, in a south-eastern area of Spain, whether workers of Polistes dominula collected at urban and rural sites differ in health of midgut tissue and in fluctuating asymmetry, an estimate of developmental noise. We found that wasps collected at the urban sites had abundant lead (Pb)-containing spherites, which were less visible in wasps from the rural sites...
March 21, 2018: Microscopy and Microanalysis
Fabio Manfredini, Mark J F Brown, Amy L Toth
Cooperation and aggression are ubiquitous in social groups, and the genetic mechanisms underlying these behaviours are of great interest for understanding how social group formation is regulated and how it evolves. In this study, we used a candidate gene approach to investigate the patterns of expression of key genes for cooperation and aggression in the brain of a primitively eusocial wasp, Polistes dominula, during colony founding, when multiple foundresses can join the same nest and establish subtle hierarchies of dominance...
May 2018: Journal of Comparative Physiology. A, Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
Maximilian Schiener, Christiane Hilger, Bernadette Eberlein, Mariona Pascal, Annette Kuehn, Dominique Revets, Sébastien Planchon, Gunilla Pietsch, Pilar Serrano, Carmen Moreno-Aguilar, Federico de la Roca, Tilo Biedermann, Ulf Darsow, Carsten B Schmidt-Weber, Markus Ollert, Simon Blank
Hymenoptera venom allergy can cause severe anaphylaxis in untreated patients. Polistes dominula is an important elicitor of venom allergy in Southern Europe as well as in the United States. Due to its increased spreading to more moderate climate zones, Polistes venom allergy is likely to gain importance also in these areas. So far, only few allergens of Polistes dominula venom were identified as basis for component-resolved diagnostics. Therefore, this study aimed to broaden the available panel of important Polistes venom allergens...
January 22, 2018: Scientific Reports
L Beani, D Marchini, F Cappa, I Petrocelli, M Gottardo, F Manfredini, F Giusti, R Dallai
Parasitic castration is an adaptive strategy where parasites usurp the hosts' reproductive physiology to complete their life cycle. The alterations in the host traits vary in their magnitude, from subtle changes in the host morpho-physiology and behaviour to the production of complex aberrant phenotypes, which often depend on the host gender. The strepsipteran macroparasite Xenos vesparum induces dramatic behavioural and physiological changes in its female host, the paper wasp Polistes dominula, while its effect on the male phenotype is largely unknown...
August 2017: Journal of Insect Physiology
Lena Grinsted, Jeremy Field
A major aim in evolutionary biology is to understand altruistic help and reproductive partitioning in cooperative societies, where subordinate helpers forego reproduction to rear dominant breeders' offspring. Traditional models of cooperation in these societies typically make a key assumption: that the only alternative to staying and helping is solitary breeding, an often unfeasible task. Using large-scale field experiments on paper wasps ( Polistes dominula ), we show that individuals have high-quality alternative nesting options available that offer fitness payoffs just as high as their actual chosen options, far exceeding payoffs from solitary breeding...
June 14, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Amy C Geffre, Ruolin Liu, Fabio Manfredini, Laura Beani, Jeyaraney Kathirithamby, Christina M Grozinger, Amy L Toth
Parasites can manipulate host behaviour to increase their own transmission and fitness, but the genomic mechanisms by which parasites manipulate hosts are not well understood. We investigated the relationship between the social paper wasp, Polistes dominula, and its parasite, Xenos vesparum (Insecta: Strepsiptera), to understand the effects of an obligate endoparasitoid on its host's brain transcriptome. Previous research suggests that X. vesparum shifts aspects of host social caste-related behaviour and physiology in ways that benefit the parasitoid...
April 12, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Lena Grinsted, Jeremy Field
Biological market theory is potentially useful for understanding helping behaviour in animal societies. It predicts that competition for trading partners will affect the value of commodities exchanged. It has gained empirical support in cooperative breeders, where subordinates help dominant breeders in exchange for group membership, but so far without considering one crucial aspect: outside options. We find support for a biological market in paper wasps, Polistes dominula. We first show that females have a choice of cooperative partners...
January 24, 2017: Nature Communications
Helmut Kovac, Helmut Käfer, Iacopo Petrocelli, Anton Stabentheiner
The two paper wasps, Polistes dominula and Polistes gallicus, are related species with strongly differing distribution ranges. We investigated thermal tolerance traits (critical thermal limits and metabolic response to temperature) to gain knowledge about physiological adaptations to their local climate conditions and to get evidence for the reasons of P. dominula's successful dispersion. Body and ambient temperature measurements at the nests revealed behavioural adaptations to microclimate. The species differed clearly in critical thermal minimum (P...
February 2017: Journal of Comparative Physiology. B, Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology
Nicole Höcherl, Shawn Kennedy, Jürgen Tautz
Wasps of the genus Polistes build combs without any cover and hence are insufficiently protected against temperature fluctuations. Due to this fact, different types of thermoregulation of Polistes dominula nests were investigated using the modern method of thermography. The study of active mechanisms for nest thermoregulation revealed no brood incubation or clustering behaviour of P. dominula. Furthermore, we found out that wing fanning for cooling the nest was almost undetectable (4 documented cases). However, we could convincingly record that water evaporation is most effective for nest cooling...
August 2016: Journal of Thermal Biology
K B Kozyra, I Melosik, E Baraniak
The Eurasiatic Polistes nimpha belongs to primitively eusocial wasps for which no data are available on its population's genetic structure and relatedness/relationships of individuals. The purpose of this research is to determine the amplification efficiency in P. nimpha of microsatellite primers developed for P. dominula and using these primers, to explore genetic diversity, population structure and relatedness/relationship of P. nimpha in the context of its reproductive options. Eight out of twelve microsatellite markers analyzed on 59 individuals (pupae and larvae) were polymorphic (mean PIC = 0...
2015: Insectes Sociaux
Daniel S Standage, Ali J Berens, Karl M Glastad, Andrew J Severin, Volker P Brendel, Amy L Toth
Comparative genomics of social insects has been intensely pursued in recent years with the goal of providing insights into the evolution of social behaviour and its underlying genomic and epigenomic basis. However, the comparative approach has been hampered by a paucity of data on some of the most informative social forms (e.g. incipiently and primitively social) and taxa (especially members of the wasp family Vespidae) for studying social evolution. Here, we provide a draft genome of the primitively eusocial model insect Polistes dominula, accompanied by analysis of caste-related transcriptome and methylome sequence data for adult queens and workers...
April 2016: Molecular Ecology
Eleonora Savi, Silvia Peveri, Elena Makri, Valerio Pravettoni, Cristoforo Incorvaia
BACKGROUND: Cross-reactivity among Hymenoptera venoms is an important issue when prescribing venom immunotherapy (VIT). Using all venoms eliciting a positive response results in treatment excess and unjustified cost increase. The first in vitro method that helped to identify the really causative venom was RAST-inhibition, but in latest years also molecular allergy (MA) diagnostics, that detects specific sIgE to single venom allergens, was introduced. We compared the two methods in patients with double sensitization to Vespula spp...
2016: Clinical and Molecular Allergy: CMA
Irene Stefanini, Leonardo Dapporto, Luisa Berná, Mario Polsinelli, Stefano Turillazzi, Duccio Cavalieri
The reproductive ecology of Saccharomyces cerevisiae is still largely unknown. Recent evidence of interspecific hybridization, high levels of strain heterozygosity, and prion transmission suggest that outbreeding occurs frequently in yeasts. Nevertheless, the place where yeasts mate and recombine in the wild has not been identified. We found that the intestine of social wasps hosts highly outbred S. cerevisiae strains as well as a rare S. cerevisiae×S. paradoxus hybrid. We show that the intestine of Polistes dominula social wasps favors the mating of S...
February 23, 2016: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Jeremy Field, Ellouise Leadbeater
In cooperatively breeding vertebrates, the existence of individuals that help to raise the offspring of non-relatives is well established, but unrelated helpers are less well known in the social insects. Eusocial insect groups overwhelmingly consist of close relatives, so populations where unrelated helpers are common are intriguing. Here, we focus on Polistes dominula-the best-studied primitively eusocial wasp, and a species in which nesting with non-relatives is not only present but frequent. We address two major questions: why individuals should choose to nest with non-relatives, and why such individuals participate in the costly rearing of unrelated offspring...
February 5, 2016: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Elizabeth A Tibbetts, Taylor Forrest, Cassondra Vernier, Judy Jinn, Andrew Madagame
Many animals have ornaments that mediate choice and competition in social and sexual contexts. Individuals with elaborate sexual ornaments typically have higher fitness than those with less elaborate ornaments, but less is known about whether socially selected ornaments are associated with fitness. Here, we test the relationship between fitness and facial patterns that are a socially selected signal of fighting ability in Polistes dominula wasps. We found wasps that signal higher fighting ability have larger nests, are more likely to survive harsh winters, and obtain higher dominance rank than wasps that signal lower fighting ability...
November 2015: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
Nicole Höcherl, Jürgen Tautz
Paper wasps, like Polistes dominula, are considered as primitively eusocial. Hence, they are often used as model species for studies about the evolution of eusociality and dominance hierarchies. However, our knowledge about basic physiological processes in these wasps remains limited. In particular, the thermoregulation of individual wasps in their natural habitat has not yet been investigated in detail. We conducted a comprehensive field study to test their ability to respond to external hazards with elevated thorax temperatures...
June 2015: Die Naturwissenschaften
Alessandro Cini, Solenn Patalano, Anne Segonds-Pichon, George B J Busby, Rita Cervo, Seirian Sumner
Contrasting phenotypes arise from similar genomes through a combination of losses, gains, co-option and modifications of inherited genomic material. Understanding the molecular basis of this phenotypic diversity is a fundamental challenge in modern evolutionary biology. Comparisons of the genes and their expression patterns underlying traits in closely related species offer an unrivaled opportunity to evaluate the extent to which genomic material is reorganized to produce novel traits. Advances in molecular methods now allow us to dissect the molecular machinery underlying phenotypic diversity in almost any organism, from single-celled entities to the most complex vertebrates...
2015: Frontiers in Genetics
Lisa Signorotti, Federico Cappa, Patrizia d'Ettorre, Rita Cervo
The importance of early experience in animals' life is unquestionable, and imprinting-like phenomena may shape important aspects of behaviour. Early learning typically occurs during a sensitive period, which restricts crucial processes of information storage to a specific developmental phase. The characteristics of the sensitive period have been largely investigated in vertebrates, because of their complexity and plasticity, both in behaviour and neurophysiology, but early learning occurs also in invertebrates...
2014: PloS One
Federico Cappa, Fabio Manfredini, Romano Dallai, Marco Gottardo, Laura Beani
Host castration represents a mechanism used by parasites to exploit energy resources from their hosts by interfering with their reproductive development or to extend host lifespan by removing risks associated with reproductive activity. One of the most intriguing groups of parasitic castrators is represented by the insects belonging to the order Strepsiptera. The macroparasite Xenos vesparum can produce dramatic phenotypic alterations in its host, the paper wasp Polistes dominula. Parasitized female wasps have undeveloped ovaries and desert the colony without performing any social task...
July 2014: Parasitology
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