+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Joint Evolution of Asexuality and Queen Number in an Ant



Joint Evolution of Asexuality and Queen Number in an Ant



Current Biology 2019



Ants exhibit a striking diversity of reproductive systems, varying in traits such as the number of reproductives per colony [1], the mode of daughter production (sexual or asexual) [2], and the mode of caste determination (genetic or environmental) [3]. Species employing mixed reproductive systems present a unique opportunity to explore the causes and consequences of alternative breeding strategies. Mixed reproductive systems in ants include social polymorphism in colony queen number, whereby single-queen (monogyne) and multiple-queen (polygyne) colonies co-occur within species [4-7], and facultative asexuality, in which female offspring may be produced sexually or asexually within colonies [8-13]. Here, we document a remarkable confluence of multiple mixed reproductive systems in the tropical fire ant, Solenopsis geminata, in a population with three important features: (1) polygyne colonies produce workers sexually but queens asexually, whereas monogyne colonies produce both castes sexually; (2) polygyne queens mate with monogyne males to produce workers, but monogyne queens do not mate with polygyne males; and (3) different asexual/polygyne lineages evidently were founded separately by genetically distinct founder queens, which appear to have originated from the same neighboring monogyne population. Multiple asexual/polygyne genomes are transmitted undiluted in this system, but sterile workers produced with sperm from a sexually-reproducing/monogyne population are necessary for the persistence of these lineages. The intersection of social polymorphism, facultative asexuality, and genetic caste determination marks this population of S. geminata as an embodiment of the diversity of ant reproductive systems and suggests previously unknown connections between these phenomena.

Please choose payment method:






(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 066688883

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 30982653

DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.03.018


Related references

Queen number, queen cycling and queen loss: the evolution of complex multiple queen societies in the social wasp genus Ropalidia. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 55(5): 469-476, 2004

Evolution of queen number and queen control. Ross, K G And R W Matthews (Ed ) The Social Biology Of Wasps Xvii+678p Cornell University Press: Ithaca, New York, Usa; London, England, Uk Illus Maps 336-388, 1991

A model of asexuality and clonal diversity: Cloning the Red Queen. Journal of Theoretical Biology 186(1): 33-40, 1997

Relationship of queen number and queen relatedness in multiple-queen colonies of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta. Ecological Entomology 22(2): 150-157, 1997

Convergent evolution: the genetics of queen number in ants. Current Biology 24(22): R1083-5, 2015

Phylogenetic analysis and the evolution of queen number in eusocial Hymenoptera. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 41: 117-130, 1991

Evolution of reproductive traits inCataglyphisdesert ants: mating frequency, queen number, and thelytoky. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 70(8): 1367-1379, 2016

Hybrid asexuality as a primary postzygotic barrier between nascent species: On the interconnection between asexuality, hybridization and speciation. Molecular Ecology 27(1): 248-263, 2017

Evolution of life history strategies in ants: Variation in queen number and mode of colony founding. Oikos 76(1): 83-92, 1996

Inbreeding depression under joint selfing, outcropping, and asexuality. Evolution. October; 515: 1409-1415, 1997

Inbreeding depression under joint selfing, outcrossing, and asexuality. Evolution 51(5): 1409-1415, 1997

Inbreeding Depression Under Joint Selfing, Outcrossing, and Asexuality. Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution 51(5): 1409-1415, 1997

Colony founding by queen association and determinants of reduction in queen number in the ant Lasius niger. Animal Behaviour 50(2): 287-294, 1995

Queen number mode of colony founding and queen reproductive success in ants hymenoptera formicidae. Ethology Ecology & Evolution 3(4): 307-316, 1991

Positive association of queen number and queen-mating frequency in Myrmica ants: A challenge to the genetic-variability hypotheses. Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology 45(3-4): 185-193, March, 1999