A Gene Necessary for Reproductive Suppression in Termites

  title={A Gene Necessary for Reproductive Suppression in Termites},
  author={Judith Korb and Tobias Weil and Katharina Hoffmann and Kevin R. Foster and Michael Rehli},
  pages={758 - 758}
Knocking out the Neofem2 gene in queen termites illicits pre-reproductive behavior in workers. A major transition in evolution is the origin of a division between reproduction and work among individuals. Nowhere is this divide more striking than in social insects, where workers rarely produce offspring even though they are often capable of reproduction should the queen or king die. The molecular mechanisms that control worker reproduction remain largely unknown. We used a combination of… 

Genes Underlying Reproductive Division of Labor in Termites, with Comparisons to Social Hymenoptera

  • J. Korb
  • Biology
    Front. Ecol. Evol.
  • 2016
The genes and their function that have been identified to underlie reproductive division of labor in the drywood termite Cryptotermes secundus, an emerging model to study termite social evolution are provided.

Transcriptomic analyses of the termite, Cryptotermes secundus, reveal a gene network underlying a long lifespan and high fecundity

Lin et al. use transcriptomics in the social termite, Cryptotermes secundus, to investigate potential pathways underlying the long lifespan and high fecundity of insect queens, and find a module of coexpressed genes in queens that is enriched for pathways involved in fecundness, juvenile hormone signaling, and chemical communication.

Chemical Fertility Signaling in Termites: Idiosyncrasies and Commonalities in Comparison with Ants

  • J. Korb
  • Biology
    Journal of Chemical Ecology
  • 2018
The patchy picture about fertility signaling for termites is summarized, pointing also to potential conflicts over reproduction that differ from those in social Hymenoptera, and promising future research avenues are illustrated.

Sex-specific inhibition and stimulation of worker-reproductive transition in a termite

The eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes, is tested and a sex-specific regulatory mechanism with both inhibitory and stimulatory functions is demonstrated, providing insights into the regulation of reproductive division of labor in a hemimetabolous social insect.

Genetic influence on caste determination underlying the asexual queen succession system in a termite

A genetic influence on caste determination underlying the asexual queen succession system in the termite Reticulitermes speratus is demonstrated and the existence of a multi-locus system affecting the queen fecundity is suggested and explained.

Pheromonal Regulation of the Reproductive Division of Labor in Social Insects

This study focused on the production and perception of pheromones under the endocrine control and highlighted the pivotal roles of nutrition-related pathways in the understanding of social regulation of reproductive division of labor in insects.

Head-butting as an Early Indicator of Reproductive Disinhibition in the Termite Zootermopsis nevadensis

The results indicate that termite workers readily detect the loss of reproductives in their colony and that they at least initially respond in a non sex-specific manner.

The scent of royalty: a p450 gene signals reproductive status in a social insect.

The data suggest that in an organism without elaborate cognitive abilities communication has been achieved by the exploitation of a central gene that links the fertility network with the chemical communication pathway, and that this role of P450 genes might be more widespread across social insects.



Molecular basis for the reproductive division of labour in a lower termite

Interestingly, this study revealed an expression pattern partly similar to social Hymenoptera indicating both common and species-specific regulatory mechanisms in hemimetabolous and holometabolous social insects.

Genetic and genomic analyses of the division of labour in insect societies

Different forms of division of labour, in lineages in which eusociality has arisen independently, have evolved through changes in the regulation of highly conserved molecular pathways associated with several basic life-history traits, including nutrition, metabolism and reproduction.

Caste-Selective Pheromone Biosynthesis in Honeybees

Queen and worker honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) produce a caste-related blend of functionalized 8- and 10-carbon fatty acids in their mandibular glands, which match the queen's reproductive and the worker's nonreproductive roles in the colony.

Social evolution in ants

An overview of the current state of scientific knowledge about social evolution in ants is presented and how studies on ants have contributed to an understanding of many fundamental topics in behavioural ecology and evolutionary biology is shown.

Molecular characterization of a male-specific glycosyl hydrolase, Lma-p72, secreted on to the abdominal surface of the Madeira cockroach Leucophaea maderae (Blaberidae, Oxyhaloinae).

Data from the first in vivo inhibition tests indicate that a glycosidase could be directly involved in the production process of some pheromonal compounds in L. maderae males.

beta-Glucosidase: an elicitor of herbivore-induced plant odor that attracts host-searching parasitic wasps.

Findings show that beta-glucosidase is a P. brassicae-secreted elicitor of the defense response of cabbage plants to herbivore injury, inducing the emission of volatiles that are used by parasitoids of the herbivores to locate their victims.

Materials and methods are available as supporting material on Science Online

    The authors thank S. Schneuwly and J. Landskron for micromanipulator help and K. Merches and K. Borner for laboratory support

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