Dynamics of an ant-ant obligate mutualism: colony growth, density dependence and frequency dependence.


:In insect societies, worker vs. queen development (reproductive caste) is typically governed by environmental factors, but many Pogonomyrmex seed-harvester ants exhibit strict genetic caste determination, resulting in an obligate mutualism between two reproductively isolated lineages. Same-lineage matings produce fertile queens while alternate-lineage matings produce sterile workers. Because new virgin queens mate randomly with multiple males of each lineage type, and both worker and queen phenotypes are required for colony growth and future reproduction, fitness is influenced by the relative frequency of each lineage involved in the mutualistic breeding system. While models based solely on frequency-dependent selection predict the convergence of lineage frequencies towards equal (0.5/0.5), we surveyed the lineage ratios of 49 systems across the range of the mutualism and found that the global lineage frequency differed significantly from equal. Multiple regression analysis of our system survey data revealed that the density and relative frequency of one lineage decreases at lower elevations, while the frequency of the alternate lineage increases with total colony density. While the production of the first worker cohort is largely frequency dependent, relying on the random acquisition of worker-biased sperm stores, subsequent colony growth is independent of lineage frequency. We provide a simulation model showing that a net ecological advantage held by one lineage can lead to the maintenance of stable but asymmetric lineage frequencies. Collectively, these findings suggest that a combination of frequency-dependent and frequency-independent mechanisms can generate many different localized and independently evolving system equilibria.


Mol Ecol


Molecular ecology


Anderson KE,Wheeler DE,Yang K,Linksvayer TA




Has Abstract


2011-04-01 00:00:00












  • Stable coexistence of incompatible Wolbachia along a narrow contact zone in mosquito field populations.

    abstract::In arthropods, the intracellular bacteria Wolbachia often induce cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) between sperm and egg, which causes conditional embryonic death and promotes the spatial spread of Wolbachia infections into host populations. The ability of Wolbachia to spread in natural populations through CI has attra...

    journal_title:Molecular ecology

    pub_type: 杂志文章


    authors: Atyame CM,Labbé P,Rousset F,Beji M,Makoundou P,Duron O,Dumas E,Pasteur N,Bouattour A,Fort P,Weill M

    更新日期:2015-01-01 00:00:00

  • Rapid parallel evolution of aberrant traits in the diversification of the Gulf of Guinea white-eyes (Aves, Zosteropidae).

    abstract::Archipelago-endemic bird radiations are familiar to evolutionary biologists as key illustrations of evolutionary patterns. However, such radiations are in fact rare events. White-eyes (Zosteropidae) are birds with an exceptionally high colonization and speciation potential; they have colonized more islands globally th...

    journal_title:Molecular ecology

    pub_type: 杂志文章


    authors: Melo M,Warren BH,Jones PJ

    更新日期:2011-12-01 00:00:00

  • Phylogenetic community ecology of soil biodiversity using mitochondrial metagenomics.

    abstract::High-throughput DNA methods hold great promise for the study of taxonomically intractable mesofauna of the soil. Here, we assess species diversity and community structure in a phylogenetic framework, by sequencing total DNA from bulk specimen samples and assembly of mitochondrial genomes. The combination of mitochondr...

    journal_title:Molecular ecology

    pub_type: 杂志文章


    authors: Andújar C,Arribas P,Ruzicka F,Crampton-Platt A,Timmermans MJ,Vogler AP

    更新日期:2015-07-01 00:00:00

  • Genetic population structure of the white sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi verreauxi) at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, southwest Madagascar (1992-2001).

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    journal_title:Molecular ecology

    pub_type: 杂志文章


    authors: Lawler RR,Richard AF,Riley MA

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  • Molecular biodiversity and population structure in common ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.) in Britain: implications for conservation.

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    journal_title:Molecular ecology

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    authors: Sutherland BG,Belaj A,Nier S,Cottrell JE,P Vaughan S,Hubert J,Russell K

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  • Nonallopatric and parallel origin of local reproductive barriers between two snail ecotypes.

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    journal_title:Molecular ecology

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    authors: Rolán-Alvarez E,Carballo M,Galindo J,Morán P,Fernández B,Caballero A,Cruz R,Boulding EG,Johannesson K

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  • Association between Wolbachia and Spiroplasma within Drosophila neotestacea: an emerging symbiotic mutualism?

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    authors: Jaenike J,Stahlhut JK,Boelio LM,Unckless RL

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    journal_title:Molecular ecology

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    authors: Booth W,Balvín O,Vargo EL,Vilímová J,Schal C

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  • Segmental allotetraploidy generates extensive homoeologous expression rewiring and phenotypic diversity at the population level in rice.

    abstract::Allopolyploidization, that is, concomitant merging and doubling of two or more divergent genomes in a common nucleus/cytoplasm, is known to instantly alter genomewide transcriptome dynamics, a phenomenon referred to as "transcriptomic shock." However, the immediate effects of transcriptomic alteration in generating ph...

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    authors: Sun Y,Wu Y,Yang C,Sun S,Lin X,Liu L,Xu C,Wendel JF,Gong L,Liu B

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  • Phylogenetic species delimitation in ectomycorrhizal fungi and implications for barcoding: the case of the Tricholoma scalpturatum complex (Basidiomycota).

    abstract::Population studies have revealed that the fungal ectomycorrhizal morphospecies Tricholoma scalpturatum consists of at least two genetically distinct groups that occur sympatrically in several geographical areas. This discovery prompted us to examine species boundaries and relationships between members formerly assigne...

    journal_title:Molecular ecology

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    authors: Jargeat P,Martos F,Carriconde F,Gryta H,Moreau PA,Gardes M

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  • Using probability modelling and genetic parentage assignment to test the role of local mate availability in mating system variation.

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    authors: Kaiser TS,von Haeseler A,Tessmar-Raible K,Heckel DG

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  • Stochastic exits from dormancy give rise to heavy-tailed distributions of descendants in bacterial populations.

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    pub_type: 评论,杂志文章


    authors: Streicher JW,Day JJ

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    authors: Morehouse EA,James TY,Ganley AR,Vilgalys R,Berger L,Murphy PJ,Longcore JE

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    authors: Lira CF,Cardoso SR,Ferreira PC,Cardoso MA,Provan J

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    abstract::Genomics and bioinformatics have great potential to help address numerous topics in ecology and evolution. Expressed sequence tags (ESTs) can bridge genomics and molecular ecology because they can provide a means of accessing the gene space of almost any organism. We review how ESTs have been used in molecular ecology...

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    authors: Bouck A,Vision T

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    authors: Carstens BC,Sullivan J,Davalos LM,Larsen PA,Pedersen SC

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  • Genetic structure in the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica: disentangling past vicariance events from contemporary patterns of gene flow.

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    authors: Serra IA,Innocenti AM,Di Maida G,Calvo S,Migliaccio M,Zambianchi E,Pizzigalli C,Arnaud-Haond S,Duarte CM,Serrao EA,Procaccini G

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    authors: Ghiselli F,Milani L,Scali V,Passamonti M

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    pub_type: 杂志文章


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  • Loss of dendritic connectivity in southern California's urban riverscape facilitates decline of an endemic freshwater fish.

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    pub_type: 杂志文章


    authors: Richmond JQ,Backlin AR,Galst-Cavalcante C,O'Brien JW,Fisher RN

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    pub_type: 杂志文章


    authors: Robin VV,Gupta P,Thatte P,Ramakrishnan U

    更新日期:2015-07-01 00:00:00