Ant workers selfishly bias sex ratios by manipulating female development.

Hammond, RL, Bruford, MW and Bourke, AFG (2002) Ant workers selfishly bias sex ratios by manipulating female development. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 269 (1487). pp. 173-178. ISSN 0962-8452

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Abstract

Kin selection theory predicts that social insects should perform selfish manipulations as a function of colony genetic structure. We describe a novel mechanism by which this occurs. First, we use microsatellite analyses to show that, in a population of the ant Leptothorax acervorum, workers' relatedness asymmetry (ratio of relatedness to females and relatedness to males) is significantly higher in monogynous (single–queen) colonies than in polygynous (multiple–queen) colonies. Workers rear mainly queens in monogynous colonies and males in polygynous colonies. Therefore, split sex ratios in this population are correlated with workers' relatedness asymmetry. Together with significant female bias in the population numerical and investment sex ratios, this finding strongly supports kin–selection theory. Second, by determining the primary sex ratio using microsatellite markers to sex eggs, we show that the ratio of male to female eggs is the same in both monogynous and polygynous colonies and equals the overall ratio of haploids (males) to diploids (queens and workers) among adults. In contrast to workers of species with selective destruction of male brood, L. acervorum workers therefore rear eggs randomly with respect to sex and must achieve their favoured sex ratios by s

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Organisms and the Environment
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Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2010 14:38
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2018 16:32
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/1294
DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2001.1860

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