Genetic diversity promotes homeostasis in insect colonies

Benjamin P. Oldroyd, Jennifer Fewell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

203 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although most insect colonies are headed by a singly mated queen, some ant, wasp and bee taxa have evolved high levels of multiple mating or 'polyandry'. We argue here that a contributing factor towards the evolution of polyandry is that the resulting genetic diversity within colonies provides them with a system of genetically based task specialization, enabling them to respond resiliently to environmental perturbation. An alternate view is that genetic contributions to task specialization are a side effect of multiple mating, which evolved through other causes, and that genetically based task specialization now makes little or no contribution to colony fitness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)408-413
Number of pages6
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Volume22
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2007

Fingerprint

insect colonies
polyandry
homeostasis
multiple mating
insect
genetic variation
queen insects
Apoidea
adverse effects
wasp
bee
ant
fitness
perturbation
genetic diversity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Genetic diversity promotes homeostasis in insect colonies. / Oldroyd, Benjamin P.; Fewell, Jennifer.

In: Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 22, No. 8, 08.2007, p. 408-413.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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