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Wasp genetics study suggests altruism evolved from maternal behavior
Date:9/27/2007

orm no work within the colony. They start their own colonies the following spring.)

Weve pushed the boundaries a lot further than what has been done before, Hudson said. Its been 100 to 150 million years since there was a common ancestor for paper wasps and honey bees, and during that time the DNA has changed a lot. But the proteins encoded by those genes that are important to the behaviors the researchers studied changed very little, Hudson said. This allowed for robust comparisons between the behavior-related genes in both species, and identification of those genes in the wasps that were important to the study.

This is very good news for people who study organisms in nature, rather than in the laboratory, Toth said. If your organism is closely related to an organism for which you have a sequenced genome, you can use this approach and you can get a lot of information about unknown gene sequences in just a matter of days.

Entomology professor Gene Robinson, an author on the study, predicts that this study will increase interest in the application of modern genomic approaches to questions related to behavior, ecology and evolutionary biology.


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Contact: Diana Yates
diya@uiuc.edu
217-333-5802
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert

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