Document Detail

Queen-worker conflict over male production and the sex ratio in a facultatively polyandrous bumblebee, Bombus hypnorum: the consequences of nest usurpation.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11742549     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Evolutionary conflicts among social hymenopteran nestmates are theoretically likely to arise over the production of males and the sex ratio. Analysis of these conflicts has become an important focus of research into the role of kin selection in shaping social traits of hymenopteran colonies. We employ microsatellite analysis of nestmates of one social hymenopteran, the primitively eusocial and monogynous bumblebee Bombus hypnorum, to evaluate these conflicts. In our 14 study colonies, B. hypnorum queens mated between one and six times (arithmetic mean 2.5). One male generally predominated, fathering most of the offspring, thus the effective number of matings was substantially lower (1-3.13; harmonic mean 1.26). In addition, microsatellite analysis allowed the detection of alien workers, those who could not have been the offspring of the queen, in approximately half the colonies. Alien workers within the same colony were probably sisters. Polyandry and alien workers resulted in high variation among colonies in their sociogenetic organization. Genetic data were consistent with the view that all males (n = 233 examined) were produced by a colony's queen. Male parentage was therefore independent of the sociogenetic organization of the colony, suggesting that the queen, and not the workers, was in control of the laying of male-destined eggs. The population-wide sex ratio (fresh weight investment ratio) was weakly female biased. No evidence for colony-level adaptive sex ratio biasing could be detected.
R J Paxton; P A Thorén; A Estoup; J Tengö
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Molecular ecology     Volume:  10     ISSN:  0962-1083     ISO Abbreviation:  Mol. Ecol.     Publication Date:  2001 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-12-14     Completed Date:  2002-02-12     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9214478     Medline TA:  Mol Ecol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2489-98     Citation Subset:  IM    
Ecological Research Station of Uppsala University, Olands Skogsby, Sweden.
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MeSH Terms
Bees / genetics*,  physiology*
Microsatellite Repeats / genetics
Sex Ratio
Sexual Behavior, Animal / physiology*

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