Genetic relatedness and partner preference in a monogamous, wood-dwelling termite

Citation
Js. Shellman-reeve, Genetic relatedness and partner preference in a monogamous, wood-dwelling termite, ANIM BEHAV, 61, 2001, pp. 869-876
Citations number
58
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Animal Sciences","Neurosciences & Behavoir
Journal title
ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR
ISSN journal
0003-3472 → ACNP
Volume
61
Year of publication
2001
Part
5
Pages
869 - 876
Database
ISI
SICI code
0003-3472(200105)61:<869:GRAPPI>2.0.ZU;2-D
Abstract
A mate preference study on adult dampwood termites, Zootermopsis nevadensis subspecies nuttingi, supports the hypothesis that mate-seeking adults avoi d forming partnerships with nestmates. The observed proportion of nestmate pairs formed from all potential pairs was Significantly less than expected. In addition, fewer pairs formed when there was a higher availability of ne stmates versus non-nestmates. Genetic relatedness estimates, obtained from multilocus fingerprints of overwintering pairs, showed that relatedness bet ween partners was not significantly different from background relatednesses of members chosen randomly from the population. Thus, nest-founding reprod uctive adults typically do not breed incestuously in this wood-dwelling ter mite. Furthermore, relatedness estimates between adult breeding males and b etween adult breeding females coinhabiting each log showed that there was a low probability of genetic relatedness among adults of neighbouring pairs, indicating that adults are typically dispersing in ways that minimize cont act with relatives. Relatedness between laboratory-reared full siblings pro duced by field-collected pairs showed that relatedness was not significantl y higher than r=0.50, which is expected if sustained incestuous breeding do es not occur, or if cycles of inbreeding occur with negligible frequency am ong breeding adults. These findings do not support arguments that selection favours inbreeding because it confers disease resistance in termites. They also indicate that the level of genetic relatedness between nest-founding adults and among siblings cannot, by itself, explain the high levels of alt ruism within colonies of this single-site, wood-dwelling termite. Ecologica l pressures and the benefits of group living, together with ordinary geneti c relatedness characteristics of outbred families appear sufficient to expl ain the advantages of kin-based altruism in wood-dwelling termites like Zoo termopsis (C) 2001 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.