The genomic impact of 100 million years of social evolution in seven ant species

Juergen Gadau, Martin Helmkampf, Sanne Nygaard, Julien Roux, Daniel F. Simola, Chris R. Smith, Garret Suen, Yannick Wurm, Christopher D. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) represent one of the most successful eusocial taxa in terms of both their geographic distribution and species number. The publication of seven ant genomes within the past year was a quantum leap for socio- and ant genomics. The diversity of social organization in ants makes them excellent model organisms to study the evolution of social systems. Comparing the ant genomes with those of the honeybee, a lineage that evolved eusociality independently from ants, and solitary insects suggests that there are significant differences in key aspects of genome organization between social and solitary insects, as well as among ant species. Altogether, these seven ant genomes open exciting new research avenues and opportunities for understanding the genetic basis and regulation of social species, and adaptive complex systems in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-21
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Genetics
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

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