Queen pheromones

Comparative transcriptomics of social insect queen pheromones

Many ants, bees, and wasps use similar or identical chemicals as queen pheromones, even though these taxa diverged 150MYA, and evolved eusociality independently. Here, we use mRNA sequencing to identify queen pheromone-sensitive genes in 4 ant and bee species, and show that pheromones affect many of the same transcriptional modules. Pheromone-sensitive genes tend to be ancient, positively selected, peripheral in transcriptomic networks, hypomethylated, and caste-specific in their expression.

Queen pheromones

Research on the identity, mode of action, and evolution of social insect queen pheromones

Conserved queen pheromones in bumblebees: A reply to Amsalem et al

In a recent study, Amsalem, Orlova & Grozinger (2015) performed experiments with Bombus impatiens bumblebees to test the hypothesis that saturated cuticular hydrocarbons are evolutionarily conserved signals used to regulate reproductive division of …

Queen pheromones modulate DNA methyltransferase activity in bee and ant workers

DNA methylation is emerging as an important regulator of polyphenism in the social insects. Research has concentrated on differences in methylation between queens and workers, though we hypothesized that methylation is involved in mediating other …

The evolution of queen pheromones in the ant genus Lasius

Queen pheromones are among the most important chemical messages regulating insect societies yet they remain largely undiscovered, hindering research into interesting proximate and ultimate questions. Identifying queen pheromones in multiple species …

Bumblebee size polymorphism and worker response to queen pheromone

Queen pheromones are chemical signals produced by reproductive individuals in social insect colonies. In many species they are key to the maintenance of reproductive division of labor, with workers beginning to reproduce individually once the queen …

Cuticular lipids correlate with age and insemination status in queen honeybees

Eusocial insects exhibit reproductive division of labour, in which one or a few queens perform almost all of the reproduction, while the workers are largely sterile and assist in rearing their siblings. Consequently, many of the colony’s tasks (e.g. …

Conditional helping and evolutionary transitions to eusociality and cooperative breeding

The nonreproductive helpers of many arthropod, bird and mammal species are a perennial puzzle for evolutionary biologists. Theory and evidence suggests that helping is favored by high relatedness between social partners and by certain ecological …

Conserved class of queen pheromones stops social insect workers from reproducing

A major evolutionary transition to eusociality with reproductive division of labor between queens and workers has arisen independently at least 10 times in the ants, bees, and wasps. Pheromones produced by queens are thought to play a key role in …

Genetic constraints on dishonesty and caste dimorphism in an ant

The ultimate causes of honest signaling remain a subject of debate, with questions remaining over the relative importance of costs and constraints. Signal costs may make dishonesty prohibitively expensive, while genetic constraints could make it …