Matching Items (7)

Filtering by

Clear all filters

133208-Thumbnail Image.png

Worker Policing Mechanisms in Ponerine Ant Species

Description

For colonies of ponerine ant species, sterility regulation after a founding queen's death is not totally achieved in the worker caste, and the possibility of sexual reproduction is opened to workers. The persisting survival of these colonies is dependent on

For colonies of ponerine ant species, sterility regulation after a founding queen's death is not totally achieved in the worker caste, and the possibility of sexual reproduction is opened to workers. The persisting survival of these colonies is dependent on capturing the optimal reproductive ratio; yet, an informational gap bounds the mechanisms detailing the selection of new reproductives and the suppression of ovarian development in rejected reproductives. We investigated the mechanisms of worker policing, one of the primary methods of ovarian suppression, through continuous video observation for a period of five days at the start of colony instability. Observations suggest policing in H. saltator is performed by a majority of a colony, including potential reproductives, and requires multiple events to fully discourage ovarian growth.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2018-12

135130-Thumbnail Image.png

Modeling the Task Performance Dynamics of Social Insects

Description

Division of Labor among social insects is frequently discussed in regards to the colony's worker population. However, before a colony achieves a worker population, a queen is required to perform all of the tasks necessary for her survival: foraging, building

Division of Labor among social insects is frequently discussed in regards to the colony's worker population. However, before a colony achieves a worker population, a queen is required to perform all of the tasks necessary for her survival: foraging, building the colony, and brood care. A simple ODE model was developed through the use of a framework of replicator equations in dynamical environments to investigate how queen ants perform and distribute all of the tasks necessary for her and her colony's survival by incorporating individual internal thresholds and environmental stimulus. Modi�cations to the internal threshold, risk of performing the task, and the rate of increase of the environmental stimulus were also explored. Because of the simplicity of the model, it could also be used to measure the task performance of larger populations of social insects. However, the model has only been applied to the data collected from Pogonomyrmex barbatus single queen ants.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
2016-12

135651-Thumbnail Image.png

Honey Bee Population Dynamics and Neonicotinoids

Description

Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are responsible for pollinating nearly 80\% of all pollinated plants, meaning humans depend on honey bees to pollinate many staple crops. The success or failure of a colony is vital to global food production. There are

Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are responsible for pollinating nearly 80\% of all pollinated plants, meaning humans depend on honey bees to pollinate many staple crops. The success or failure of a colony is vital to global food production. There are various complex factors that can contribute to a colony's failure, including pesticides. Neonicotoids are a popular pesticide that have been used in recent times. In this study we concern ourselves with pesticides and its impact on honey bee colonies. Previous investigations that we draw significant inspiration from include Khoury et Al's \emph{A Quantitative Model of Honey Bee Colony Population Dynamics}, Henry et Al's \emph{A Common Pesticide Decreases Foraging Success and Survival in Honey Bees}, and Brown's \emph{ Mathematical Models of Honey Bee Populations: Rapid Population Decline}. In this project we extend a mathematical model to investigate the impact of pesticides on a honey bee colony, with birth rates and death rates being dependent on pesticides, and we see how these death rates influence the growth of a colony. Our studies have found an equilibrium point that depends on pesticides. Trace amounts of pesticide are detrimental as they not only affect death rates, but birth rates as well.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
2016-05

136133-Thumbnail Image.png

Using Natural Diversity of Quorum Sensing to Expand the Synthetic Biology Toolbox

Description

Currently in synthetic biology only the Las, Lux, and Rhl quorum sensing pathways have been adapted for broad engineering use. Quorum sensing allows a means of cell to cell communication in which a designated sender cell produces quorum sensing molecules

Currently in synthetic biology only the Las, Lux, and Rhl quorum sensing pathways have been adapted for broad engineering use. Quorum sensing allows a means of cell to cell communication in which a designated sender cell produces quorum sensing molecules that modify gene expression of a designated receiver cell. While useful, these three quorum sensing pathways exhibit a nontrivial level of crosstalk, hindering robust engineering and leading to unexpected effects in a given design. To address the lack of orthogonality among these three quorum sensing pathways, previous scientists have attempted to perform directed evolution on components of the quorum sensing pathway. While a powerful tool, directed evolution is limited by the subspace that is defined by the protein. For this reason, we take an evolutionary biology approach to identify new orthogonal quorum sensing networks and test these networks for cross-talk with currently-used networks. By charting characteristics of acyl homoserine lactone (AHL) molecules used across quorum sensing pathways in nature, we have identified favorable candidate pathways likely to display orthogonality. These include Aub, Bja, Bra, Cer, Esa, Las, Lux, Rhl, Rpa, and Sin, which we have begun constructing and testing. Our synthetic circuits express GFP in response to a quorum sensing molecule, allowing quantitative measurement of orthogonality between pairs. By determining orthogonal quorum sensing pairs, we hope to identify and adapt novel quorum sensing pathways for robust use in higher-order genetic circuits.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
2015-05

136136-Thumbnail Image.png

An Examination of Citrate Synthase Activity in Experimentally Evolved Drosophila melanogaster

Description

Three populations of experimentally evolved Drosophila melanogaster populations made up of high temperature (H, constant 25 ᵒC), low temperature (C, constant 16 ᵒC) and temporal homogeneity (T, environment changes between 16 ᵒC and 25 ᵒC) were prepared and assayed to

Three populations of experimentally evolved Drosophila melanogaster populations made up of high temperature (H, constant 25 ᵒC), low temperature (C, constant 16 ᵒC) and temporal homogeneity (T, environment changes between 16 ᵒC and 25 ᵒC) were prepared and assayed to determine difference in citrate synthase activity. Between the three groups, the results were inconclusive: the resulting reaction rates in units of nmol min-1mgfly-1 were 81.8 + 20.6, 101 + 15.6, and 96.9 + 25.2 for the hot (H), cold (C), and temporally homogeneous (T) groups, respectively. We conclude that the high associated variability was due to a lack of control regarding the collection time of the experimentally evolved Drosophila.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2015-05

131674-Thumbnail Image.png

The Role of Multiple Expression Sites and Mosaic Gene Conversion in Antigenic Variation in African Trypanosomes

Description

Although extracellular throughout their lifecycle, trypanosomes are able to persist despite strong host immune responses through a process known as antigenic variation involving a large, highly diverse family of surface glycopro- tein (VSG) genes, only one of which is expressed

Although extracellular throughout their lifecycle, trypanosomes are able to persist despite strong host immune responses through a process known as antigenic variation involving a large, highly diverse family of surface glycopro- tein (VSG) genes, only one of which is expressed at a time. Previous studies have used mathematical models to investigate the relationship between VSG switching and the dynamics of trypanosome infections, but none have explored the role of multiple VSG expression sites or the contribution of mosaic gene conversion events involving VSG pseudogenes.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2020-05

134962-Thumbnail Image.png

Breathe Big Beetle: Despite Hypermetry, Scarab Spiracle Scaling Requires Switch from Diffusive to Convective Gas Exchange

Description

One hypothesis for why insects are smaller than vertebrates is that the blind-ended tracheal respiratory system challenges oxygen delivery for larger insects. Supporting this hypothesis, several studies have documented that larger insect species have larger gas transport structures than expected

One hypothesis for why insects are smaller than vertebrates is that the blind-ended tracheal respiratory system challenges oxygen delivery for larger insects. Supporting this hypothesis, several studies have documented that larger insect species have larger gas transport structures than expected by isometric scaling. To further test this hypothesis, we performed the first inter-specific study of the scaling of spiracle size, using ten scarab beetle species, including some of the most massive insects. Using micro-CT, we measured the cross sectional area and depth of all eight spiracles. Areas of large spiracles in the anterior portion of the animal showed hypermetric scaling, varying approximately with mass^0.8. However, because diffusive capacities scaled with lower slopes than metabolic rates, larger beetles had a 10-fold higher required PO2 gradient across the spiracles to sustain oxygen consumption by diffusion. Despite this trend, calculations suggest that large beetles can exchange oxygen by diffusion across the spiracles at rest, but likely no beetles can do so during flight. Advective capacities through the spiracles scale with mass^1.8, suggestive of a switch toward greater use of convection and/or reduced required pressures in larger beetles.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2017-05