ESA Annual Meetings Online Program

0707 Genetic understanding of aggression behavior in the lower termite Reticulitermites flavipes

Monday, November 14, 2011: 9:27 AM
Room D7, First Floor (Reno-Sparks Convention Center)
Li Tian , Entomology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Xiangrui Li , Entomology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Qian Sun , Department of Entomology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Xuguo "Joe" Zhou , Entomology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Studies of linkage between genes and social behaviors enhance our understanding of molecular basis underlying the origin and maintenance of eusociality in -social insects. Inter-colonical aggression is one of the characteristic l behaviors exhibited by eusocial insects such as isopterans and eusocial hymenopterans. However, genes related to aggressive behavior in these eusocial groups have not been fully explored. In this study, brain tissues of three termite species were dissected, and tissue-specific transcriptomic sequencing was carried out. Annotation provides several candidate genes that are potentially related to the aggressive behavior. In addition, behavior assay was established to quantify the level of intercolonical aggression exhibited by lower termite, Reticulitermes flavipes. Complex aggressive behavior toward non-nestmates was dissected into simple behavioral elements representing different level of agonistic interaction. Aggression bioassay reveals the presence of individual differences in level of agonistic interaction toward non-nestmates within the same colony. Overall, this study serves to provide preliminary work for future studies on genes and inter-colonical aggression behavior in termites, which aims to enhance our understanding of the eusocial evolution in Isopterans.

doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.59260