Navigation Links
Caste in the colony
Date:10/21/2008

"The history of all past society has consisted in the development of class antagonismsthe exploitation of one part of society by the other". Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, The Communist Manifesto.

Although diversity in social groups can increase group well being, it also may increase the potential for conflict. All societies are characterized by struggles for control: which individuals gain the spoils and which toil in the fields. In colonies of social insects this struggle is embodied by a reproductive division of labor. Some individuals (the queens) reproduce, while the workers provide the labor that maintains colony function. In many social insects queens enjoy nearly complete control over reproduction and workers have diversified in form and function to increase their efficiency at performing different labors.

How, then, is it determined which individuals, as developing larvae, becoming queens or different types of workers? A collaborative research team of scientists at four universities has found that caste determination in the Florida harvester ant is much more than meets the eye. Larvae become different castes (small workers, large workers, or new queens) based largely on the nutrition they receive. Those fed more insects than seeds are more likely to become larger individuals (queen>large worker>small worker). However, genetic differences also contribute and bias the larva's developmental pathway. Even once caste is determined, nutritional, social (colony size), and genetic factors all contribute, but in different ways, to how big an individual grows. "Caste determination in most social insects likely involves both nature and nurture, but most interestingly in this species, these two forces contribute differently in different castes," says lead researcher Chris R. Smith of the University of Illinois. Although genetic factors contribute to what caste an individual becomes, the environment of the larva is controlled by the workers. Quite generally, ant colonies are supreme examples of both conflict and cooperation each extreme of the nature-nurture continuum.


'/>"/>

Contact: Patricia Morse
pmorse@uchicago.edu
773-702-0446
University of Chicago Press Journals
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Genes and nutrition influence caste in unusual species of harvester ant
2. Colony collapse disorder symposium added to ESA Annual Meeting
3. Neighbors from hell: Infanticide rife in guillemot colony
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Caste in the colony
(Date:3/21/2016)... Massachusetts , March 22, 2016 ... facial recognition with passcodes for superior security   ... ), a leading provider of secure digital communications services, ... their biometric technology and offer enterprise customers, particularly those ... secure facial recognition and voice authentication within a mobile ...
(Date:3/17/2016)... ABI Research, the leader in transformative ... market will reach more than $30 billion by ... Consumer electronics, particularly smartphones, continue to boost the ... reach two billion shipments by 2021 at a ... Research Analyst at ABI Research. "Surveillance is also ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... -- Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew ... Hebrew University, announced today the formation of Neteera ... human biological indicators. Neteera Technologies has completed its first ... ... emissions from sweat ducts, enables reliable and speedy biometric ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Lajollacooks4u has become a rising hotspot for ... one of its top attractions. Fortune 500 companies, such as Illumina, Hewlett-Packard, Qualcomm ... and intimate team-building experience. , Each event kicks off with an olive oil and ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... The American Medical ... Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) outlining a measurement approach ... data were available when and where it was needed. The organization of health ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding ... has granted the company’s orphan drug designation request covering BHV-4157 for the treatment ... by the FDA. , Spinocerebellar ataxia is a rare, debilitating neurodegenerative disorder ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... newly re-branded identity. The new Media Cybernetics corporate branding reflects a results-driven revitalization ... imaging and image analysis. The re-branding components include a crisp, refreshed logo and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: