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Ergatoid queen development in the ant Myrmecina nipponica : modular and heterochronic regulation of caste differentiation

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Title: Ergatoid queen development in the ant Myrmecina nipponica : modular and heterochronic regulation of caste differentiation
Authors: Miyazaki, Satoshi Browse this author
Murakami, Takahiro Browse this author
Kubo, Takuya Browse this author
Azuma, Noriko Browse this author
Higashi, Seigo Browse this author
Miura, Toru Browse this author
Keywords: caste development
heterochrony
imaginal primordia
modularity
social insect
Issue Date: 7-Jul-2010
Publisher: The Royal Society
Journal Title: Proceedings of the Royal Society B : Biological Sciences
Volume: 277
Issue: 1690
Start Page: 1953
End Page: 1961
Publisher DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.0142
Abstract: Caste polyphenism in social insects provides us with excellent opportunities to examine the plasticity and robustness underlying developmental pathways. Several ant species have evolved unusual castes showing intermediate morphologies between alate queens and wingless workers. In some low-temperature habitats, the ant Myrmecina nipponica produces such intermediate reproductives (i.e. ergatoids), which can mate and store sperm but cannot fly. To gain insight into the developmental and evolutionary aspects associated with ergatoid production, we conducted morphological and histological examinations of the postembryonic development of compound eyes, gonads and wings during the process of caste differentiation. In compound eyes, both the queen-worker and ergatoid-worker differences were already recognized at the third larval instar. In gonads, queen-worker differentiation began at the larval stage, and ergatoid-worker differentiation began between the prepupal and pupal stages. Wing development in ergatoids was generally similar to that in workers throughout postembryonic development. Our results showed that the developmental rate and timing of differentiation in body parts differed among castes and among body parts. These differences suggest that the rearrangement of modular body parts by heterochronic developmental regulation is responsible for the origination of novel castes, which are considered to be adaptations to specific ecological niches.
Relation: http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/
Type: article (author version)
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2115/46778
Appears in Collections:環境科学院・地球環境科学研究院 (Graduate School of Environmental Science / Faculty of Environmental Earth Science) > 雑誌発表論文等 (Peer-reviewed Journal Articles, etc)

Submitter: 三浦 徹

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