Coronavirus Information på dansk / Information in English

Genetic royalty demonstrates corruption in advanced ant societies – Department of Biology - University of Copenhagen

13 March 2008

Genetic royalty demonstrates corruption in advanced ant societies

The maintenance of cooperation in the face of the apparent advantages of cheating is one of the major unsolved mysteries in evolutionary biology. Social insect colonies are a classic example of cooperation and have always been believed to be built on a foundation of egalitarianism, with all individuals having an equal chance of developing into reproductive queens or sterile workers. Now, however, it has been shown that royalty is genetically influenced in leaf-cutting ants, with certain genetic types cheating their nestmates by biasing their development into queens. Two distinct mechanisms are involved and, just as with human societies, the threat of suppression keeps cheats rare. The results demonstrate that corruption haunts even the most advanced of societies....

Download