martes, 1 de diciembre de 2015


TITLE: Phenotypic plasticity and reproduction-longevity life-history trade-off: investigating the underlying basis in an orchid bee at the cusp of sociality

In collaboration with , MLU Halle-Wittenberg Project Leader: Professor Robert J. Paxton

Summary: Socially polymorphic species, in which different members of the same species exhibit either solitary or social behaviour, provide unrivalled model systems for exploring the role of sociality in fundamental biological processes. Using a socially polymorphic orchid bee species which can be induced to nest in artificial observation boxes in the field, we shall describe the gene expression profiles of solitary and social (worker and queen) phenotypes to identify key genes underpinning the genetic bauplan of eusociality. By experimentally enhancing/diminishing brood food, we shall test the longevity-reproduction trade-off in the solitary phenotype and test whether there exists a longevity-reproduction correlation in the eusocial phenotype, and use gene expression profiles to identify its genetic basis.

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