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SulA halts cell division in Escherichia coli by binding to the major component of the division machinery FtsZ. We have solved the crystal structure of SulA alone and in complex with FtsZ from Pseudomonas aeruginosa. SulA is expressed when the SOS response is induced. This is a mechanism to inhibit cell division and repair DNA in the event of DNA damage.(More)
Many individual decisions are informed by direct comparison of the alternatives. In collective decisions, however, only certain group members may have the opportunity to compare options. Emigrating ant colonies (Temnothorax albipennis) show sophisticated nest-site choice, selecting superior sites even when they are nine times further away than the(More)
In socially foraging species resource information can be shared between individuals, increasing foraging success. In ant colonies, nestmate recruitment allows high exploitation rates at known resources however, to maximise foraging efficiency this must be balanced with searching for new resources. Many ant species form colonies inhabiting two or more(More)
An important problem facing organisms in a heterogeneous environment is how to redistribute resources to where they are required. This is particularly complex in social insect societies as resources have to be moved both from the environment into the nest and between individuals within the nest. Polydomous ant colonies are split between multiple spatially(More)
Worker insects altruistically sacrifice their own reproduction to rear nondescendant kin. This sacrifice reaches its most spectacular level in suicidal colony defense. Suicidal defense, such as when the sting of a honeybee worker embeds in a predator and then breaks off, is normally a facultative response. Here we describe the first example of preemptive(More)
Pharaoh's ants organise their foraging system using three types of trail pheromone. All previous foraging models based on specific ant foraging systems have assumed that only a single attractive pheromone is used. Here we present an agent-based model based on trail choice at a trail bifurcation within the foraging trail network of a Pharaoh's ant colony(More)
Polydomy, a single colony spread between multiple nests, is a widespread life history strategy in ants. The mechanisms by which a polydomous colony functions, and the fitness benefits this nesting strategy provides, are poorly understood. Here we review what is known about polydomy in the well-studied and ecologically important Formica rufa group. We focus(More)
Colony size can be considered the analogue of the body size of a superorganism. Just as body size is important to the physiology of an individual animal, colony size correlates with the life-history and ecology of social insects. Although nest excavation and counting all individuals is the most accurate method for estimating colony size (or nest size), it(More)
Efficient and robust transportation networks are key to the effectiveness of many natural systems. In polydomous ant colonies, which consist of two or more spatially separated but socially connected nests, resources must be transported between nests. In this study, we analyse the network structure of the inter-nest trails formed by natural polydomous ant(More)
Resource sharing is an important cooperative behavior in many animals. Sharing resources is particularly important in social insect societies, as division of labor often results in most individuals including, importantly, the reproductives, relying on other members of the colony to provide resources. Sharing resources between individuals is therefore(More)