Olav Rueppell

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Specialized relationships with bacteria often allow animals to exploit a new diet by providing a novel set of metabolic capabilities. Bees are a monophyletic group of Hymenoptera that transitioned to a completely herbivorous diet from the carnivorous diet of their wasp ancestors. Recent culture-independent studies suggest that a set of distinctive bacterial(More)
The regulation of division of labor in social insects, particularly in the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.), has received considerable attention from a number of biological subdisciplines, including quantitative and behavioral genetics, because of the high complexity of the behavioral traits involved. The foraging choices of honey bee workers can be accurately(More)
The first generation of genome sequence assemblies and annotations have had a significant impact upon our understanding of the biology of the sequenced species, the phylogenetic relationships among species, the study of populations within and across species, and have informed the biology of humans. As only a few Metazoan genomes are approaching finished(More)
Life expectancy of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) is of general interest to gerontological research because its variability among different groups of bees is one of the most striking cases of natural plasticity of aging. Worker honey bees spend their first days of adult life working in the nest, then transition to foraging and die between 4 and 8 weeks of(More)
The first draft of the honey bee genome sequence and improved genetic maps are utilized to analyze a genome displaying 10 times higher levels of recombination (19 cM/Mb) than previously analyzed genomes of higher eukaryotes. The exceptionally high recombination rate is distributed genome-wide, but varies by two orders of magnitude. Analysis of chromosome,(More)
The honeybee has been the most important insect species for study of social behavior. The recently released draft genomic sequence for the bee will accelerate honeybee behavioral genetics. Although we lack sufficient tools to manipulate this genome easily, quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that influence natural variation in behavior have been identified and(More)
Alternative reproductive tactics are common in males but rather rare in females. In this respect, ants are apparently an interesting exception. Ant queens can either start a new colony on their own or utilize the work force of existing colonies for dependent colony founding. As the success of these different options depends on body reserves of the queens,(More)
Senescence can be defined demographically as an agedependent increase in mortality risk, or functionally as a decline in performance. The relationship between the two phenomena is central for understanding the biological aging process and the implications of human lifespan extension [1]. Generally, demographic and functional senescence are believed to be(More)
We report the results of a comprehensive investigation of the queen size dimorphism in the North American ant Leptothorax rugatulus. Employing allozymes and microsatellites as genetic markers, we found no evidence that the gene pools of large (macrogynes) and small (microgynes) queens are distinct. Queens in polygynous colonies are related to each other,(More)
In order to understand the evolution of natural variability, and polymorphisms in particular, it is essential to study proximate causes. Our study is the first work on ants to determine formally the heritability of quantitative traits in a quantitative genetic framework. We investigated the causes of queen size dimorphism of the ant Leptothorax rugatulus(More)