Genetic diversity promotes homeostasis in insect colonies

Benjamin P. Oldroyd, Jennifer Fewell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    199 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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