Clonal reproduction by males and females in the little fire ant

@article{Fournier2005ClonalRB,
  title={Clonal reproduction by males and females in the little fire ant},
  author={Denis Fournier and Arnaud Estoup and J{\'e}r{\^o}me Orivel and Julien Foucaud and Herv{\'e} Jourdan and Julien Le Breton and Laurent Keller},
  journal={Nature},
  year={2005},
  volume={435},
  pages={1230-1234}
}
Sexual reproduction can lead to major conflicts between sexes and within genomes. Here we report an extreme case of such conflicts in the little fire ant Wasmannia auropunctata. We found that sterile workers are produced by normal sexual reproduction, whereas daughter queens are invariably clonally produced. Because males usually develop from unfertilized maternal eggs in ants and other haplodiploid species, they normally achieve direct fitness only through diploid female offspring. Hence… 

Meiotic recombination dramatically decreased in thelytokous queens of the little fire ant and their sexually produced workers.

It is suggested that the combination of automixis with central fusion and a major decrease in recombination rates allows clonal queens to benefit from thelytoky while avoiding the potential inbreeding depression resulting from the loss of heterozygosity during Automixis.

Genetic determination of female castes in a hybridogenetic desert ant

It is shown that the association between genotype and caste in this species is maintained by a ‘hard‐wired’ genetic caste determination system, whereby nonhybrid genomes have lost the ability to develop as workers.

RARE SEXUAL REPRODUCTION EVENTS IN THE CLONAL REPRODUCTION SYSTEM OF INTRODUCED POPULATIONS OF THE LITTLE FIRE ANT

Although the main reproduction system in New Caledonia remained clonality for both male and female reproductives, it was found that rare sexual reproduction events that led to the production of both new queen and male clonal lineages were found.

Males are here to stay: fertilization enhances viable egg production by clonal queens of the little fire ant (Wasmannia auropunctata)

The data suggest that physiological constraints, such as the requirement for insemination, must be considered in regard to evolution of reproduction systems, in addition to ecological data and theoretical considerations of fitness.

Sib mating without inbreeding in the longhorn crazy ant

The complete segregation of the male and female gene pools allows the queens to circumvent the costs associated with inbreeding and therefore may act as an important pre-adaptation for the crazy ant's tremendous invasive success.

Sex and clonality in the little fire ant.

This work found that traditional sexual populations occurred in W. auropunctata and are likely the recent source of neighboring clonal populations, and investigates the origins of female parthenogenesis and male clonality.

Clonal reproduction and genetic caste differences in a queen-polymorphic ant, Vollenhovia emeryi

The queen-polymorphic ant Vollenhovia emeryi might provide an interesting model system to trace the evolution of unusual caste and sex determination systems.

Lifelong commitment to the wrong partner: hybridization in ants

The morphological similarity of most ant males, perhaps resulting from the lack of sexual conflict, may similarly contribute to the commonness of hybridization and may thus be an option for queens when conspecific mates are not available.

Evolutionary biology: Males from Mars

An extreme case of sexual conflict has been unearthed in the little fire ant Wasmannia auropunctata, which effectively results in a complete separation of the male and female gene pools.

Egg production and caste allocation in the clonally reproductive ant Vollenhovia emeryi

This study is the first to document the real primary sex ratio and caste allocation in eusocial Hymenoptera and revealed clonal reproduction in the V. emeryi population.
...

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