Saturday, 12 April 2014

Genetically identical ants help unlock the secrets of larval fate

2 hours ago by Zach Veilleux

Cerapachys biroi ants, native to Asia and introduced globally on tropical and subtropical islands, have no queens and have minimal genetic variation, making them ideal for research on social behavior.

(Phys.org) —A young animal's genes are not the only genes that determine its fate. The genetic identity of its caretakers matters too. Researchers suspect the interaction between the two can sway the fate of the young animal, but this complex dynamic is difficult to pin down in lab experiments.

However, social insect researchers have found a solution. Rockefeller University's Daniel Kronauer, head of the Laboratory of Insect Social Evolution, and his colleagues are developing a species of small raider ants as a model organism in order to ask questions about the relationships between genes, social behavior and evolution. 





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