Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Amdam et al., 10.1073/pnas.0403073101: "Reproductive ground plan may mediate colony-level selection effects on individual foraging behavior in honey bees " Amdam et al. document that the pleiotropic genetic network that controls foraging behavior in functionally sterile honey bee workers (Apis mellifera) has a reproductive component. It is stated that associations between behavior, physiology, and sensory tuning in workers with different foraging strategies indicate that the underlying genetic architectures were designed to control a reproductive cycle. Genetic circuits that make up the regulatory "ground plan" of a reproductive strategy may provide powerful building blocks for social life. Amdam et al. suggest that exploitation of this ground plan plays a fundamental role in the evolution of social insect societies.

Kutsukake et al., 10.1073/pnas.0402462101 Venomous protease of aphid soldier for colony defense: Kutsukake et al. identified a soldier-specific cysteine protease of the family cathepsin B in a social aphid, Tuberaphis styraci; they found that the cathepsin B protein is a major component of the aphid venom produced by soldiers of T. styraci, and that a soldier-specific expression of the cathepsin B gene was found also in other social aphids of the genus Tuberaphis. The soldier-specific cathepsin B gene showed an accelerated molecular evolution probably caused by the action of positive selection, which had been also known from venomous proteins of other animals.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Extreme queen-mating frequency and colony fission in African army ants - Mol Ecol, Vol 13, Issue 8, pp. 2381-2388 (Abstract) by D.J.C. Kronauer, C. Schöning, J.S. Pedersen, J.J. Boomsma and J. Gadau

The diminutive supercolony: the Argentine ants of the southeastern United States - Mol Ecol, Vol 13, Issue 8, pp. 2235-2242 (Abstract) by C. Buczkowski, E.L. Vargo and J. Silverman

Nest architecture and genetic differentiation in a species complex of Australian stingless bees - Mol Ecol, Vol 13, Issue 8, pp. 2317-2331 (Abstract) by P. Franck, E. Cameron, G. Good, J.-Y. Rasplus and B.P. Oldroyd

Genetic structure of nest aggregations and drone congregations of the southeast Asian stingless bee Trigona collina - Mol Ecol, Vol 13, Issue 8, pp. 2357-2364 (Abstract) by E.C. Cameron, P. Franck and B.P. Oldroyd