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Genes and genomic processes underpinning the social lives of ants

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posted on 2018-01-11, 11:04 authored by Emeline Favreau, Carlos Martínez-Ruiz, Leandro Rodrigues Santiago, Robert L. Hammond, Yannick Wurm
The > 15 000 ant species are all highly social and show great variation in colony organization, complexity and behavior. The mechanisms by which such sociality evolved, as well as those underpinning the elaboration of ant societies since their ∼140 million year old common ancestor, have long been pondered. Here, we review recent insights generated using various genomic approaches. This includes understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying caste differentiation and the diversity of social structures, studying the impact of eusociality on genomic evolutionary rates, and investigating gene expression changes associated with differences in lifespan between castes. Furthermore, functional studies involving RNAi and CRISPR have recently been successfully applied to ants, opening the door to exciting research that promises to revolutionize the understanding of the evolution and diversification of social living.

Funding

This work was supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council [grant BB/ K004204/1] and the Natural Environment Research Council [grant NE/ L00626X/1 and NE/L002485/1] and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientı´fico e Tecnolo´gico [grant 248391/2013-5].

History

Citation

Current Opinion in Insect Science, 2018, 25:83–90

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF LIFE SCIENCES/Biological Sciences/Genetics and Genome Biology

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Current Opinion in Insect Science

Publisher

Elsevier

issn

2214-5745

eissn

2214-5753

Acceptance date

2017-12-20

Copyright date

2017

Available date

2018-01-11

Publisher version

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214574517301335?via=ihub

Language

en

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