0552 Causes and consequences of genetic diversity in ant societies

Tuesday, December 15, 2009: 3:40 PM
Room 107-108, First Floor (Convention Center)
Jürgen Gadau , School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
The variation in the observed intra-colonial genetic diversity in an ant society can have multiple proximate and ultimate mechanisms. It can be the result of selection or a byproduct of selection on other components of an ant species’ life history like raiding. I will present results on 15 years of sociogenetic studies in a huge diversity of ant societies, e.g. army ants, leafcutter ants, honey ants, harvester ants and arboreal Crematogaster ants. These ants illustrate the diversity of mechanism that can lead to an increase in genetic diversity in ant societies. It is often much more difficult to explain the adaptive value of this genetic variability but it becomes more and more clear that an increase in intracolonial genetic diversity can subsequently lead to the evolution of novel and sometimes “non-adaptive” traits like genetic caste determination.

doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.40436