HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Spiteful soldiers and sex ratio conflict among parasitoid wasps

The social insects provide some of the most fascinating examples of altruism in the natural world, with sterile workers sacrificing their own reproduction for the greater good of the colony. Research carried out in Canada and the United Kingdom reveals that, for a peculiar group of parasitic wasps, this sacrifice is more sinister. For years the function of sterile 'soldier' larvae in polyembryonic parasitoid wasps has been controversial. Traditionally, these have been viewed as bringing a benefit to their broodmates as a whole, for example by protecting them from attack by other species of parasitoids. More recently, it has been suggested that soldiers are primarily involved in a battle of the sexes, which they wage against their own siblings. Andy Gardner, Ian Hardy, Peter Taylor, and Stuart West, in a theoretical study of how natural selection shapes the behavior of these larvae, published in the April issue of the American Naturalist, have rejected the brood-benefit hypothesis and found in favor of the view that their behavior is altogether spiteful.

Andy Gardner, now at St John's College, Oxford University, explains, "We found that the bizarre genetics of these wasps means that brothers value their sisters more than sisters value their brothers, and so if sterile larvae function for the good of the group then it should be brothers who more willingly make the sacrifice. Alternatively, if the sterile larvae are used by each sex to wage war against the other sex, then it should be primarily females who are interested in killing their brothers. As it happens, most sterile larvae are female, suggesting a primary role in sex conflict." This work also explains the often strongly skewed sex ratios in these wasps, where female outnumber males, due to sex differences in killing behavior. More generally, it reveals how Darwinism can be used to explore the function of puzzling animal behaviors.


'"/>

Contact: Patricia Morse
amnat@press.uchicago.edu
773-702-0446
University of Chicago Press Journals
2-Apr-2007


Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Bursts of waves drive immune system soldiers toward invaders
2. Keeping cool in a war zone: Device promises relief for desert soldiers
3. NJIT plastics expert who develops safer explosives for soldiers gets honor
4. Stanford cooling tool may improve performance of athletes, soldiers
5. Interaction of just 2 genes governs coloration patterns in mice
6. New research seeks to enhance alternative fuel integration in public vehicle fleets
7. Cardiac patches stimulate regeneration, improve function after heart attack
8. Co-operation between GSF and clinic improves outlook for sarcoma patients
9. Serica scientists win AOSSM Award for ACL (knee) tissue regeneration in preclinical study
10. Researchers identify genetic mutation that may alter tumor cell proliferation
11. Critical protein prevents DNA damage from persisting through generations

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/19/2020)... ... June 18, 2020 , ... Join experts from Envigo ... in a live webinar on Wednesday, July 8, 2020 at 11am EDT ... we genetically engineer new models. However, while modifying the genome may be more straightforward, ...
(Date:6/11/2020)... ... June 09, 2020 , ... Superior Controls, Inc. ... automation and IT solutions for the life sciences industry, is pleased to announce the ... working out of the company’s Seabrook, New Hampshire office. In his new role, ...
(Date:6/5/2020)... ... ... Greffex, a pioneering vaccine and gene therapy company based in Houston, Texas, welcomes ... a global perspective to make an impact in a post pandemic world,” said Co-Chairman ... independent, director of the company. , “The Greffex board is excited to have Neil ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/1/2020)... , ... June 29, 2020 , ... ... to date growth of 40% in 2020, despite many obstacles created as a ... aims to increase revenue for its partnered medical practices and medical manufacturers by ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... ... June 25, 2020 , ... The Indoor Lab, a leading provider of sensor ... of all types to ensure cleanliness, distancing and occupancy with its patent pending WipeAway™ ... enabled business will provide a health performance index system that scores all aspects of ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... ... June 26, 2020 , ... The Security Industry ... its strong opposition to the recently introduced bicameral Facial Recognition and Biometric ... most federal use of nearly all biometric and related image analytics technologies, incorrectly ...
(Date:6/23/2020)... ... 2020 , ... Regen Suppliers, the one stop shop for ... get the fourth unit free with no limit on the amniotic derived exosomes. ... have been a game changer for regenerative therapies. The products are manufactured at ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: