Oct 19, 1999

Queen-Worker Conflict over Sexual Production and Colony Maintenance in Perennial Social Insects

The American Naturalist
A F G Bourke, George L Chan

Abstract

An important idea from kin selection theory as applied to life-history evolution in perennial insect societies suggests that potential conflict exists between the queen and workers over the relative allocation of resources to colony reproduction and colony growth. This prediction assumed a colony with one singly mated queen, sterile workers, and independent colony foundation by dispersing queens. We argue that this prediction is mistaken because queen and workers under these circumstances can only invest in sexuals (new queens and males) derived from the colony queen. Assuming population sex ratio equilibrium, potential conflict is absent because both parties maximize fitness by maximizing the colony's total output of these sexuals. However, a similar queen-worker conflict is predicted in facultatively polygynous species in which existing queens are superseded. We hypothesize that queens favor the production of relatively more new workers to prolong their lives as reproductives, whereas workers favor raising relatively more new queens as possible replacements. We tested this hypothesis using productivity data from the ant Leptothorax acervorum. As predicted, queen number and worker number were, respectively, positively and nega...Continue Reading

  • References4
  • Citations11

Mentioned in this Paper

Leptothorax acervorum
Mating
Infertility
Insect Extract
Insecta
Ilex paraguayensis homeopathic preparation
Ants

Trending Feeds

COVID-19

Coronaviruses encompass a large family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as more serious diseases, such as the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; formally known as 2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans; symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties; in more severe cases, infection can lead to death. This feed covers recent research on COVID-19.

Bone Marrow Neoplasms

Bone Marrow Neoplasms are cancers that occur in the bone marrow. Discover the latest research on Bone Marrow Neoplasms here.

IGA Glomerulonephritis

IgA glomerulonephritis is a chronic form of glomerulonephritis characterized by deposits of predominantly Iimmunoglobin A in the mesangial area. Discover the latest research on IgA glomerulonephritis here.

Cryogenic Electron Microscopy

Cryogenic electron microscopy (Cryo-EM) allows the determination of biological macromolecules and their assemblies at a near-atomic resolution. Here is the latest research.

STING Receptor Agonists

Stimulator of IFN genes (STING) are a group of transmembrane proteins that are involved in the induction of type I interferon that is important in the innate immune response. The stimulation of STING has been an active area of research in the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. Here is the latest research on STING receptor agonists.

LRRK2 & Immunity During Infection

Mutations in the LRRK2 gene are a risk-factor for developing Parkinson’s disease. However, LRRK2 has been shown to function as a central regulator of vesicular trafficking, infection, immunity, and inflammation. Here is the latest research on the role of this kinase on immunity during infection.

Antiphospholipid Syndrome

Antiphospholipid syndrome or antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS or APLS), is an autoimmune, hypercoagulable state caused by the presence of antibodies directed against phospholipids.

Meningococcal Myelitis

Meningococcal myelitis is characterized by inflammation and myelin damage to the meninges and spinal cord. Discover the latest research on meningococcal myelitis here.

Alzheimer's Disease: MS4A

Variants within membrane-spanning 4-domains subfamily A (MS4A) gene cluster have recently been implicated in Alzheimer's disease by recent genome-wide association studies. Here is the latest research.