Matching Items (26)

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Task allocation and site fidelity jointly influence foraging regulation in honeybee colonies

Description

Variation in behaviour among group members often impacts collective outcomes. Individuals may vary both in the task that they perform and in the persistence with which they perform each task.

Variation in behaviour among group members often impacts collective outcomes. Individuals may vary both in the task that they perform and in the persistence with which they perform each task. Although both the distribution of individuals among tasks and differences among individuals in behavioural persistence can each impact collective behaviour, we do not know if and how they jointly affect collective outcomes. Here, we use a detailed computational model to examine the joint impact of colony-level distribution among tasks and behavioural persistence of individuals, specifically their fidelity to particular resource sites, on the collective trade-off between exploring for new resources and exploiting familiar ones. We developed an agent-based model of foraging honeybees, parametrized by data from five colonies, in which we simulated scouts, who search the environment for new resources, and individuals who are recruited by the scouts to the newly found resources, i.e. recruits. We varied the persistence of returning to a particular food source of both scouts and recruits and found that, for each value of persistence, there is a different optimal ratio of scouts to recruits that maximizes resource collection by the colony. Furthermore, changes to the persistence of scouts induced opposite effects from changes to the persistence of recruits on the collective foraging of the colony. The proportion of scouts that resulted in the most resources collected by the colony decreased as the persistence of recruits increased. However, this optimal proportion of scouts increased as the persistence of scouts increased. Thus, behavioural persistence and task participation can interact to impact a colony's collective behaviour in orthogonal directions. Our work provides new insights and generates new hypotheses into how variations in behaviour at both the individual and colony levels jointly impact the trade-off between exploring for new resources and exploiting familiar ones.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-08-30

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Expression differences in Aphidius ervi (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) females reared on different aphid host species

Description

The molecular mechanisms that allow generalist parasitoids to exploit many, often very distinct hosts are practically unknown. The wasp Aphidius ervi, a generalist koinobiont parasitoid of aphids, was introduced from

The molecular mechanisms that allow generalist parasitoids to exploit many, often very distinct hosts are practically unknown. The wasp Aphidius ervi, a generalist koinobiont parasitoid of aphids, was introduced from Europe into Chile in the late 1970s to control agriculturally important aphid species. A recent study showed significant differences in host preference and host acceptance (infectivity) depending on the host A. ervi were reared on. In contrast, no genetic differentiation between A. ervi populations parasitizing different aphid species and aphids of the same species reared on different host plants was found in Chile. Additionally, the same study did not find any fitness effects in A. ervi if offspring were reared on a different host as their mothers. Here, we determined the effect of aphid host species (Sitobion avenae versus Acyrthosiphon pisum reared on two different host plants alfalfa and pea) on the transcriptome of adult A. ervi females. We found a large number of differentially expressed genes (between host species: head: 2,765; body: 1,216; within the same aphid host species reared on different host plants: alfalfa versus pea: head 593; body 222). As expected, the transcriptomes from parasitoids reared on the same host species (pea aphid) but originating from different host plants (pea versus alfalfa) were more similar to each other than the transcriptomes of parasitoids reared on a different aphid host and host plant (head: 648 and 1,524 transcripts; body: 566 and 428 transcripts). We found several differentially expressed odorant binding proteins and olfactory receptor proteins in particular, when we compared parasitoids from different host species. Additionally, we found differentially expressed genes involved in neuronal growth and development as well as signaling pathways. These results point towards a significant rewiring of the transcriptome of A. ervi depending on aphid-plant complex where parasitoids develop, even if different biotypes of a certain aphid host species (A. pisum) are reared on the same host plant. This difference seems to persist even after the different wasp populations were reared on the same aphid host in the laboratory for more than 50 generations. This indicates that either the imprinting process is very persistent or there is enough genetic/allelic variation between A. ervi populations. The role of distinct molecular mechanisms is discussed in terms of the formation of host fidelity.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-08-21

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Fine-Scale Mapping of the Nasonia Genome to Chromosomes Using a High-Density Genotyping Microarray

Description

Nasonia, a genus of four closely related parasitoid insect species, is a model system for genetic research. Their haplodiploid genetics (haploid males and diploid females) and interfertile species are advantageous

Nasonia, a genus of four closely related parasitoid insect species, is a model system for genetic research. Their haplodiploid genetics (haploid males and diploid females) and interfertile species are advantageous for the genetic analysis of complex traits and the genetic basis of species differences. A fine-scale genomic map is an important tool for advancing genetic studies in this system. We developed and used a hybrid genotyping microarray to generate a high-resolution genetic map that covers 79% of the sequenced genome of Nasonia vitripennis. The microarray is based on differential hybridization of species-specific oligos between N. vitripennis and Nasonia giraulti at more than 20,000 markers spanning the Nasonia genome. The map places 729 scaffolds onto the five linkage groups of Nasonia, including locating many smaller scaffolds that would be difficult to map by other means. The microarray was used to characterize 26 segmental introgression lines containing chromosomal regions from one species in the genetic background of another. These segmental introgression lines have been used for rapid screening and mapping of quantitative trait loci involved in species differences. Finally, the microarray is extended to bulk-segregant analysis and genotyping of other Nasonia species combinations. These resources should further expand the usefulness of Nasonia for studies of the genetic basis and architecture of complex traits and speciation.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-02-01

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How Do Genomes Create Novel Phenotypes? Insights from the Loss of the Worker Caste in Ant Social Parasites

Description

A central goal of biology is to uncover the genetic basis for the origin of new phenotypes. A particularly effective approach is to examine the genomic architecture of species that

A central goal of biology is to uncover the genetic basis for the origin of new phenotypes. A particularly effective approach is to examine the genomic architecture of species that have secondarily lost a phenotype with respect to their close relatives. In the eusocial Hymenoptera, queens and workers have divergent phenotypes that may be produced via either expression of alternative sets of caste-specific genes and pathways or differences in expression patterns of a shared set of multifunctional genes. To distinguish between these two hypotheses, we investigated how secondary loss of the worker phenotype in workerless ant social parasites impacted genome evolution across two independent origins of social parasitism in the ant genera Pogonomyrmex and Vollenhovia. We sequenced the genomes of three social parasites and their most-closely related eusocial host species and compared gene losses in social parasites with gene expression differences between host queens and workers. Virtually all annotated genes were expressed to some degree in both castes of the host, with most shifting in queen-worker bias across developmental stages. As a result, despite >1 My of divergence from the last common ancestor that had workers, the social parasites showed strikingly little evidence of gene loss, damaging mutations, or shifts in selection regime resulting from loss of the worker caste. This suggests that regulatory changes within a multifunctional genome, rather than sequence differences, have played a predominant role in the evolution of social parasitism, and perhaps also in the many gains and losses of phenotypes in the social insects.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-07-29

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Are cuticular hydrocarbons used for mate choice in the genetic caste determination lineage in Pogonomyrmex barbatus

Description

Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) play a crucial role in social insect recognition systems. In this study we investigated mate choice in the red harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex barbatus. In Phoenix, this species

Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) play a crucial role in social insect recognition systems. In this study we investigated mate choice in the red harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex barbatus. In Phoenix, this species has two lineages, J1 and J2, which look identical, but are genetically isolated. In the genetic caste determination (GCD) system workers and queens are determined by their genotype (i.e., workers develop from interlineage crosses, queens from intralineage crosses). As such, J1 and J2 lineages are dependent on each other in order for colonies to produce both workers and reproductive queens. Given their genetic isolation and interdependence, we hypothesized that the CHCs of alate males and queens are affected by lineage, and that differences in the CHC profile are used for mate recognition. We tested these hypotheses by analyzing the lineage distributions of actively mating pairs (n=65), and compared them with the overall distribution of male and female sexuals (n=180). We additionally analyzed the five most abundant CHC compounds for 20 of the actively mating P. barbatus alate male and queen pairs to determine how variable the two lineages are between each sex. We found that mating pair distributions did not significantly differ from those expected under a random mating system (�2= 1.4349, P= 0.6973), however, CHC profiles did differ between J1 and J2 lineages and sexes for the five most abundant CHC compounds. Our results show that random mating is taking place in this population, however given the differences observed in CHC profiles, mate recognition could be taking place.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Variation in Growth Rate of Colonies with Differing Queen Systems in the Ant Species Pogonomyrmex californicus

Description

I tested the hypothesis that in mature colonies of the seed harvester Pogonomyrmex californicus ant species, paired pleometrotic queens would produce workers more efficiently after a massive removal of their

I tested the hypothesis that in mature colonies of the seed harvester Pogonomyrmex californicus ant species, paired pleometrotic queens would produce workers more efficiently after a massive removal of their work force than haplometrotic queens, paired pleometrotic with haplometrotic queens, and single pleometrotic queens. I suggested that the paired pleometrotic queens would have an advantage of cooperating together in reproducing more workers quicker than the other conditions to make up for the lost workers. This would demonstrate a benefit that pleometrosis has over haplometrosis for mature colonies, which would explain why pleometrosis continues for P.californicus after colony foundation. After removing all but twenty workers for every colony, I took pictures and counted the emerging brood for 52 days. Analyses showed that the paired pleometrotic queens and the haplometrotic queens both grew at an equally efficient rate and the paired pleometrotic and haplometrotic queens growing the least efficiently. However, the results were not significant and did not support the hypothesis that paired pleometrotic queens recover from worker loss more proficiently than other social systems.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Characterization and Phylogeny of Wolbachia Endosymbiont Infections in the Harvester Ant Genus Pogonomyrmex

Description

Wolbachia is a genus of obligately intracellular bacterial endosymbionts of arthropods and nematodes, infecting up to 66% of all such species. In order to ensure its transmission, it may modify

Wolbachia is a genus of obligately intracellular bacterial endosymbionts of arthropods and nematodes, infecting up to 66% of all such species. In order to ensure its transmission, it may modify host reproduction by inducing one of four phenotypes: cytoplasmic incompatibility, feminization of genetic males, killing of male embryos, and induction of thelytokous parthenogenesis. This investigation was a characterization of the so-far unexamined Wolbachia infection of Pogonomyrmex ants. Five main questions were addressed: whether Wolbachia infection rates vary between North and South America, whether infection rates are dependent on host range, whether Wolbachia affects the caste determination of P. barbatus, whether infection rates in Pogonomyrmex are similar to those of other ants, and whether Wolbachia phylogeny parallels the phylogeny of its Pogonomyrmex hosts. Using PCR amplification of the wsp, ftsZ, and gatB loci, Wolbachia infections were detected in four of fifteen Pogonomyrmex species (26.7%), providing the first known evidence of Wolbachia infection in this genus. All infected species were from South America, specifically Argentina. Therefore, Wolbachia has no role in the caste determination of the North American species P. barbatus. Additionally, while it appears that the incidence of Wolbachia in Pogonomyrmex may be limited to South America, host range did not correlate with infection status. The incidence of Wolbachia in Pogonomyrmex as a whole was similar to that of invasive Solenopsis and Linepithema species, but not to Wasmannia auropunctata or Anoplolepis gracilipes, which retain Wolbachia infection in non-native locations. This suggests that there may be a parallel in Wolbachia infection spread in certain short-term models of species colonization and long-term models of genus radiation. Finally, there was no congruity between host and parasite phylogeny according to maximum likelihood analyses, necessarily due to horizontal transfer of Wolbachia between hosts and lateral gene transfer between Wolbachia strains within hosts.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05

Phylogeography of Pogonomyrmex barbatus and P. rugosus harvester ants with genetic and environmental caste determination

Description

We present a phylogeographic study of at least six reproductively isolated lineages of new world harvester ants within the Pogonomyrmex barbatus and P. rugosus species group. The genetic and geographic

We present a phylogeographic study of at least six reproductively isolated lineages of new world harvester ants within the Pogonomyrmex barbatus and P. rugosus species group. The genetic and geographic relationships within this clade are complex: Four of the identified lineages show genetic caste determination (GCD) and are divided into two pairs. Each pair has evolved under a mutualistic system that necessitates sympatry. These paired lineages are dependent upon one another because their GCD requires interlineage matings for the production of F1 hybrid workers, and intralineage matings are required to produce queens. This GCD system maintains genetic isolation among these interdependent lineages, while simultaneously requiring co-expansion and emigration as their distributions have changed over time. It has also been demonstrated that three of these four GCD lineages have undergone historical hybridization, but the narrower sampling range of previous studies has left questions on the hybrid parentage, breadth, and age of these groups. Thus, reconstructing the phylogenetic and geographic history of this group allows us to evaluate past insights and hypotheses and to plan future inquiries in a more complete historical biogeographic context. Using mitochondrial DNA sequences sampled across most of the morphospecies’ ranges in the U.S.A. and Mexico, we conducted a detailed phylogeographic study. Remarkably, our results indicate that one of the GCD lineage pairs has experienced a dramatic range expansion, despite the genetic load and fitness costs of the GCD system. Our analyses also reveal a complex pattern of vicariance and dispersal in Pogonomyrmex harvester ants that is largely concordant with models of late Miocene, Pliocene, and Pleistocene range shifts among various arid-adapted taxa in North America.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-07-01

The genomes of two key bumblebee species with primitive eusocial organization

Description

Background
The shift from solitary to social behavior is one of the major evolutionary transitions. Primitively eusocial bumblebees are uniquely placed to illuminate the evolution of highly eusocial insect societies.

Background
The shift from solitary to social behavior is one of the major evolutionary transitions. Primitively eusocial bumblebees are uniquely placed to illuminate the evolution of highly eusocial insect societies. Bumblebees are also invaluable natural and agricultural pollinators, and there is widespread concern over recent population declines in some species. High-quality genomic data will inform key aspects of bumblebee biology, including susceptibility to implicated population viability threats.

Results
We report the high quality draft genome sequences of Bombus terrestris and Bombus impatiens, two ecologically dominant bumblebees and widely utilized study species. Comparing these new genomes to those of the highly eusocial honeybee Apis mellifera and other Hymenoptera, we identify deeply conserved similarities, as well as novelties key to the biology of these organisms. Some honeybee genome features thought to underpin advanced eusociality are also present in bumblebees, indicating an earlier evolution in the bee lineage. Xenobiotic detoxification and immune genes are similarly depauperate in bumblebees and honeybees, and multiple categories of genes linked to social organization, including development and behavior, show high conservation. Key differences identified include a bias in bumblebee chemoreception towards gustation from olfaction, and striking differences in microRNAs, potentially responsible for gene regulation underlying social and other traits.

Conclusions
These two bumblebee genomes provide a foundation for post-genomic research on these key pollinators and insect societies. Overall, gene repertoires suggest that the route to advanced eusociality in bees was mediated by many small changes in many genes and processes, and not by notable expansion or depauperation.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-04-24

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Transposable element islands facilitate adaptation to novel environments in an invasive species

Description

Adaptation requires genetic variation, but founder populations are generally genetically depleted. Here we sequence two populations of an inbred ant that diverge in phenotype to determine how variability is generated.

Adaptation requires genetic variation, but founder populations are generally genetically depleted. Here we sequence two populations of an inbred ant that diverge in phenotype to determine how variability is generated. Cardiocondyla obscurior has the smallest of the sequenced ant genomes and its structure suggests a fundamental role of transposable elements (TEs) in adaptive evolution. Accumulations of TEs (TE islands) comprising 7.18% of the genome evolve faster than other regions with regard to single-nucleotide variants, gene/exon duplications and deletions and gene homology. A non-random distribution of gene families, larvae/adult specific gene expression and signs of differential methylation in TE islands indicate intragenomic differences in regulation, evolutionary rates and coalescent effective population size. Our study reveals a tripartite interplay between TEs, life history and adaptation in an invasive species.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014-12-01