Navigation Links
Stanford scientist uncovers the reproductive workings of a harvester ant dynasty
Date:2/12/2013

Ants are just about everywhere you look, and yet it's largely unknown how they manage to be so ubiquitous. Scientists have understood the carnal mechanism of ant reproduction, but until now have known little of how successful the daughters of a colony are when they attempt to found new colonies.

For the first time, Stanford biologists have been able to identify specific parent ants and their own children in wild ant colonies, making it possible to study reproduction trends.

And in a remarkable display of longevity, an original queen ant was found to be producing new ants several decades after mating, sending out daughter queens throughout her 20- to 30-year lifespan.

"Most animals produce offspring for a while, and then they enter a life stage where they don't," said Deborah Gordon, a biology professor at Stanford and a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. "These queen ants are mating once, storing that sperm in a special sac, keeping it alive and using it to fertilize eggs for another 25 years."

From an ecological viewpoint, an ant colony is much like a tree putting out seeds, with the potential to create new trees. An ant queen produces genetically identical worker ants that live in the same colony, and also produces sons, and daughter queens. The daughter queens, after mating, establish new colonies of their own.

Gordon has been studying a particular population of harvester ant colonies in southeastern Arizona for 28 years, meticulously recording when a new colony rises or an older one falls.

Gordon's group took the DNA fingerprint of each colony by analyzing a section of microsatellite, or "junk", DNA to identify which colonies were related. By pairing the genetic analysis with the long-term observations, Gordon was able to determine the original queen and colony, and the order in which the daughter queens and subsequent generations established new colonies.

The res
'/>"/>

Contact: Bjorn Carey, Stanford News Service
bccarey@stanford.edu
650-725-1944
Stanford University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Stanford researcher sheds new light on the mysteries of spider silk
2. Stanford geoscientist cites critical need for basic research to unleash promising energy sources
3. Stanford scientists build the first all-carbon solar cell
4. Gladstone, Stanford scientists block toxic protein that plays key role in Lou Gehrigs disease
5. The 2013 HFSP Nakasone Award goes to Stephen Quake of Stanford University
6. Stanford bioengineer Christina Smolke wins NIH Directors Pioneer Award
7. Stanford researchers discover the anternet
8. Stanford expert brings climate change science to heated Capitol Hill
9. Stanford-Penn State scientists use microbes to make clean methane
10. Stanford-SLAC team uses X-ray imaging to observe running batteries in action
11. Stanford researchers calculate global health impacts of the Fukushima nuclear disaster
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:9/30/2014)... KONG , Sept. 30, 2014 Winners of ... Economist Events, Innovation Summit scheduled to take place at the JW ... the summit, the award winners will share their experiences and the ... who have made a proven innovation over the past decade, will ... the night before the summit. It will be the first ...
(Date:9/29/2014)... Washington, DC Monday, September 29: Between 1970 ... and fish around the globe dropped 52 percent, ... by World Wildlife Fund (WWF). This biodiversity loss ... increasing resource use of high-income countries. , In ... the report,s data point to other warning signs ...
(Date:9/29/2014)... of Texas at Arlington research team says recently identified ... their lab could open doors for homeland security and ... in the Oct. 1 issue of Optics Letters ... co-authors describe a new method to fabricate transparent nanoscintillators ... until a transparent ceramic is formed. A scintillator ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Hear from The Economist's 2014 Innovation Award Winners at Innovation Summit on October 10th in Hong Kong 2Hear from The Economist's 2014 Innovation Award Winners at Innovation Summit on October 10th in Hong Kong 3Hear from The Economist's 2014 Innovation Award Winners at Innovation Summit on October 10th in Hong Kong 4Hear from The Economist's 2014 Innovation Award Winners at Innovation Summit on October 10th in Hong Kong 5Hear from The Economist's 2014 Innovation Award Winners at Innovation Summit on October 10th in Hong Kong 6Hear from The Economist's 2014 Innovation Award Winners at Innovation Summit on October 10th in Hong Kong 7Half of global wildlife lost, says new WWF report 2UT Arlington researchers develop new transparent nanoscintillators for radiation detection 2UT Arlington researchers develop new transparent nanoscintillators for radiation detection 3
... scientists have begun to harness DNA,s powerful molecular machinery ... natural ability of pairs of DNA molecules to assemble ... the California Institute of Technology,* could provide a means ... and drug delivery systems, from the bottom up. ...
... . Sperm have only one aim: to find ... emitting attractants. Calcium ions determine the beating pattern of the sperm ... the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in ... centre in Bonn, an institute of the Max Planck Society, have ...
... British Columbia is arguably the most important fossil deposit ... Cambrian "Explosion," the rapid flowering of complex life from ... comprised of shells, teeth and bones, the Burgess Shale ... delicate structuresof animals belonging to Earth,s earliest complex ecosystems ...
Cached Biology News:The shape of things to come: NIST probes the promise of nanomanufacturing using DNA origami 2Sperm can count 2Mechanism for Burgess Shale-type preservation 2
(Date:9/30/2014)... Lyme Research Alliance (LRA), the nation’s ... universities, today announced the awarding of seven grants worth ... cure for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. , ... its history—over 20 grant proposals—a 100 percent increase from ... receive so many solid applications from talented scientists this ...
(Date:9/30/2014)... 2014 Rainbow Scientific, Inc. (RSI), ... recently opened an online store to add customer ... lines developed and manufactured by Biological Industries, Inc. ... Biological Industries’ Nutristem® serum-free, xeno-free reagents for human ... cell (hESC) culture. , The online store ...
(Date:9/30/2014)... (PRWEB) September 30, 2014 UFP ... and specialty packaging has recently introduced a custom ... Suspension Pack . The new insulated shipper solves ... chain distribution process. UFP Technologies’ BioShell is a ... bags during storage, handling and shipping. The insulated ...
(Date:9/30/2014)... Back in the 1970’s, many companies calculated ... employee, which included space for circulation and file storage. ... partner at Nidea Corporate Real Estate / ITRA Global ... year 2000, however, 250 square feet per employee became ... down to 175 to 225 square feet, and over the ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Lyme Research Alliance Awards Nearly $600,000 in New Grants 2Lyme Research Alliance Awards Nearly $600,000 in New Grants 3Lyme Research Alliance Awards Nearly $600,000 in New Grants 4Rainbow Scientific, Inc. opens online store for state-of-the-art stem cell culture and cytogenetic reagents 2UFP Technologies Introduces Insulated Shipping Container For Bulk Drug Transportation 2UFP Technologies Introduces Insulated Shipping Container For Bulk Drug Transportation 3ITRA Global Reports on How Companies Are Squeezing More Employees into Less Office Space 2ITRA Global Reports on How Companies Are Squeezing More Employees into Less Office Space 3