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Worker-Brood Genetic Relatedness in a Primitively Eusocial Wasp

Gadagkar, R and Chandarshekara, K and Chandran, S and Bhagavan, S (1991) Worker-Brood Genetic Relatedness in a Primitively Eusocial Wasp. In: Naturwissenschaften, 78 (11). pp. 523-526.

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A striking feature of eusocial insects is the differentiation of colony members into a fertile reproductive caste and a sterile worker caste [1, 2]. High workerbrood genetic relatedness is the most widely accepted explanation for the apparent altruism on the part of workers that is implied by such reproductive caste differentiation. The haplodiploid genetic system leads to high genetic relatedness between full sisters (r = 0.75) in the Hymenoptera, an insect order with multiple origins of eusociality [1, 3]. However, polyandry (multiple mating by queens) and polygyny (the simultaneous presence of more than one queen in a colony) reduce worker-brood genetic relatedness [4]. Here, we show, by pedigree analysis in a primitively eusocial wasp, that even when there is only one queen at any given time, serial polygyny (the frequent replacement of queens) leads by itself, and even more potently in combination with polyandry, to a substantial reduction in worker-brood genetic relatedness.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Naturwissenschaften
Publisher: Springer
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Springer.
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2007
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:34
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/9425

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