Queen Succession Through Asexual Reproduction in Termites

  title={Queen Succession Through Asexual Reproduction in Termites},
  author={Kenji Matsuura and Edward L. Vargo and Kazutaka Kawatsu and Paul E Labadie and Hiroko Nakano and Toshihisa Yashiro and Kazuki Tsuji},
  pages={1687 - 1687}
The evolution and maintenance of sexual reproduction may involve important tradeoffs because asexual reproduction can double an individual's contribution to the gene pool but reduces diversity. Moreover, in social insects the maintenance of genetic diversity among workers may be important for colony growth and survival. We identified a previously unknown termite breeding system in which both parthenogenesis and sexual reproduction are conditionally used. Queens produce their replacements… 

Sexual and Asexual Reproduction in Termites

How eusociality, with its attendant caste structure and unique life histories, can generate novel reproductive and genetic systems with mixed modes of reproduction provides important insights into the advantages and disadvantages of sexual reproduction.

Evolution of asexual queen succession in Reticulitermes termites

Possible physiological mechanisms and genetic background underlying the asexual queen succession system in Reticulitermes termites and consequent sex-asymmetric inbreeding provides an ideal opportunity to test kin selection in diploid organisms, although a strong test of the theory has proven difficult inDiploid social insects because they lack the relatedness asymmetry found in the Hymenoptera.

Asexual Queen Succession in Termites

Termite species from phylogenetically distant lineages were shown to combine both sexual and parthenogenetic reproductions, in a breeding system dubbed as “Asexual Queen Succession”, thereby highlighting the inherent evolutionary advantages of this strategy.

Evolution of the asexual queen succession system and its underlying mechanisms in termites

The study of AQS, the mixed use of sexual and asexual reproduction, is of fundamental importance as it may provide a key to solve the evolutionary paradox of sex.

Ant queens adjust egg fertilization to benefit from both sexual and asexual reproduction

It is shown that queens of the ant Cataglyphis cursor maximize the transmission rate of their genes by regulating the proportion of fertilized and parthenogenetic eggs laid over time.

Asexual queen succession mediates an accelerated colony life cycle in the termite Silvestritermes minutus

It is concluded that S. minutus benefits from AQS to maximize colony growth rate and alate production within a very short life cycle rather than to extend colony lifespan, highlighting the versatile role of AQS in different cases of its polyphyletic origin.

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.

Termite queens close the sperm gates of eggs to switch from sexual to asexual reproduction

It is discovered that queens of the termite close micropyles (openings for sperm entry) of their eggs to produce parthenogenetic offspring in the presence of kings, the first identification, to the authors' knowledge, of the mechanism through which females control egg fertilization over time in diploid animals.



Conditional Use of Sex and Parthenogenesis for Worker and Queen Production in Ants

By selectively using sex for somatic growth and parthenogenesis for germline production, C. cursor has taken advantage of the ant caste system to benefit from the advantages of both sexual and asexual reproduction.

Sexual and asexual colony foundation and the mechanism of facultative parthenogenesis in the termite Reticulitermes speratus (Isoptera, Rhinotermitidae)

It is shown that the mode of parthenogenesis is diploid thelytoky and that the restoration of ploidy is most likely accomplished by terminal fusion.

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.

Reproductive dynamics and colony structure of subterranean termites of the genus Reticulitermes (Isoptera Rhinotermitidae): a review of the evidence from behavioral, ecological, and genetic studies

This work reviews and synthesizes current information on Reticulitermes life history, reproduction, and genetics to develop an understanding of colony and population structure, and possible modes of reproductive organization.

Comparison of colony foundation success between sexual pairs and female asexual units in the termite Reticulitermes speratus (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

It is concluded that a normal monogamous pair is the best unit for colony foundation in termites because females alone can establish colonies by parthenogenesis, and even female–female cooperation promotes colony foundation success if pairing with males is not possible.

Courting strategies and conflicts in a monogamous, biparental termite

  • J. Shellman-Reeve
  • Psychology
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 1999
Evidence is presented that both courting males and females are choosy in the wood–dwelling, biparental termite Zootermopsis nevadensis, and sex differences both in the method of mate rejection and in the mate–choice criteria are presented.

Clonal reproduction by males and females in the little fire ant

Findings show that the haplodiploid sex-determination system provides grounds for the evolution of extraordinary genetic systems and new types of sexual conflict in the little fire ant Wasmannia auropunctata.

Biol. Lett

  • Biol. Lett
  • 2006

Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B

  • Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B
  • 1999