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Polistes dominula

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...
October 15, 2016: 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
Susan A Weiner, David A Galbraith, Dean C Adams, Nicole Valenzuela, Fernando B Noll, Christina M Grozinger, Amy L Toth
DNA methylation plays an important role in the epigenetic control of developmental and behavioral plasticity, with connections to the generation of striking phenotypic differences between castes (larger, reproductive queens and smaller, non-reproductive workers) in honeybees and ants. Here, we provide the first comparative investigation of caste- and life stage-associated DNA methylation in several species of bees and vespid wasps displaying different levels of social organization. Our results reveal moderate levels of DNA methylation in most bees and wasps, with no clear relationship to the level of sociality...
August 2013: Die Naturwissenschaften
Fabio Manfredini, Laura Beani, Christina M Grozinger
Successful invaders often become established in new ranges by outcompeting native species. The "evolution of increased competitive ability" hypothesis predicts that invasive species are subjected to less predation and parasitization than sympatric native species, and thus can allocate resources from defence and immunity to growth and fecundity, thereby achieving higher fitness. In this study, we examined whether American invasive Polistes dominula paper wasps have reduced immunocompetence. To explore this scenario, we tested their susceptibility towards parasites and pathogens at both the individual (immune defence) and colony levels, i...
March 2013: Die Naturwissenschaften
J Manuel Vidal-Cordero, Gregorio Moreno-Rueda, Antonio López-Orta, Carlos Marfil-Daza, José L Ros-Santaella, F Javier Ortiz-Sánchez
UNLABELLED: HASH(0x35d4df8) INTRODUCTION: Aposematism is a defense system against predators consisting of the toxicity warning using conspicuous coloration. If the toxin production and aposematic coloration is costly, only individuals in good physical condition could simultaneously produce abundant poison and striking coloration. In such cases, the aposematic coloration not only indicates that the animal is toxic, but also the toxicity level of individuals. The costs associated with the production of aposematic coloration would ensure that individuals honestly indicate their toxicity levels...
2012: Frontiers in Zoology
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