BiMe

The queens, the workers and the grim reaper: Aging and reproduction in social insects

date
31.05.2018 
time
04:00 PM - 05:00 PM 
speaker
Prof. Jürgen Heinze 
affiliation
University Regensburg 
language
en 
main topic
Biology: general
subtopics
Medicine: Regeneration
host
Dr. Dunja Knapp 
abstract

Abstract:
Why organisms age and die and why they do so at very different paces are still major puzzles in evolutionary biology. Perennial social insects (honey bees, ants, termites) provide suitable systems to tackle this fundamental problem. In particular ants are characterized by the extraordinarily long lifespan of their reproductive females (queens), which may live tens or hundreds of times longer than non-social insects of similar body size. Furthermore, while many animals show the well-known trade-off between longevity and reproductive success, highly fertile ant queens by far outlive their non-reproductive nestmates.
In my talk I will summarize recent findings from our studies on Cardiocondyla ants, which indicate that both mating and egg laying prolong queen life span. Furthermore, our studies show that individual life span is greatly affected by the queen’s social environment without any changes in external mortality risks. The genome of Cardiocondyla obscurior has recently been fully sequenced and we currently use functional genomics and bioinformatics to disentangle the genomic interrelations between reproduction and senescence in social evolution.
5 most important publications:
Schrempf A, Giehr J, Röhrl R, Steigleder S, Heinze J (2017) Royal Darwinian demons: enforced changes in reproductive efforts do not affect the life expectancy of ant queens. Am Nat 189: 436-442Heinze J (2017) Life history evolution in ants: the case of Cardiocondyla. Proc R Soc Lond B 284: 20161406Korb J, Heinze J (2016) Major hurdles for the evolution of sociality. Annu Rev Entomol 61: 297–316von Wyschetzki K, Rueppell O, Oettler J, Heinze J (2015) Transcriptomic signatures mirror the lack of the fecundity / longevity trade-off in ant queens. Mol Biol Evol 32: 3173-3185Von Wyschetzki K, Lowack H, Heinze J (2016) Transcriptomic response to injury sheds light on the physiological costs of reproduction in ant queens. Mol Ecol 25, 1972-1985

 

Last update: 22.05.2018 07:43.

venue 

DFG Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD, ground floor, auditorium left) 
Fetscherstraße 105
01307 Dresden
telefon
+49 (0)351 458 82064 
fax
+49 (0)351 458 82059  
e-mail
DFG Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden 
homepage
http://www.crt-dresden.de 

organizer 

DFG Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD)
Fetscherstraße 105
01307 Dresden
telefon
+49 (0)351 458 82064 
fax
+49 (0)351 458 82059 
e-mail
DFG Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD) 
homepage
http://www.crt-dresden.de 
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