Start Date

8-5-2020 12:00 AM

Document Type

Poster Session

Department

Southern Maine Community College

Advisor

Daniel Moore, PhD

Abstract

How do eusocial species of insects, with a single matriarch, create genetic variation within their populations? This review examines possible answers by looking at research carried out with termite, ant, and bee colonies, with a focus on colonies formed through and maintained in monogyny. Answering the question of genetic variation allows for a better understanding of the inheritance patterns of genetic diseases in these insect populations. Bee populations have been on a path to recovery since reaching their lowest population point in 2008. The drop in population was due to numerous factors that include a lack of biodiversity, as well as parasites and a loss in habitat. Understanding how genetic variation within these populations occurs may suggest methods to promote an increase in biodiversity. Termites and ants have interesting and unique methods of inheritance, and they both play significant roles within their ecosystems as decomposers. It is important to understand how termites and ants create genetic variation, so that they can be better managed in their natural environments and effectively controlled. Researchers have concluded that populations will not undergo a lack of genetic diversity, so long as there are others of their colony type to mate with during their nuptial flights. The worker caste within the colonies do not reproduce, and as such, are unable to pass along their genetic code. Only the reproductives within colonies show inheritance.

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May 8th, 12:00 AM

Genetic Variation in Eusocial Insects

How do eusocial species of insects, with a single matriarch, create genetic variation within their populations? This review examines possible answers by looking at research carried out with termite, ant, and bee colonies, with a focus on colonies formed through and maintained in monogyny. Answering the question of genetic variation allows for a better understanding of the inheritance patterns of genetic diseases in these insect populations. Bee populations have been on a path to recovery since reaching their lowest population point in 2008. The drop in population was due to numerous factors that include a lack of biodiversity, as well as parasites and a loss in habitat. Understanding how genetic variation within these populations occurs may suggest methods to promote an increase in biodiversity. Termites and ants have interesting and unique methods of inheritance, and they both play significant roles within their ecosystems as decomposers. It is important to understand how termites and ants create genetic variation, so that they can be better managed in their natural environments and effectively controlled. Researchers have concluded that populations will not undergo a lack of genetic diversity, so long as there are others of their colony type to mate with during their nuptial flights. The worker caste within the colonies do not reproduce, and as such, are unable to pass along their genetic code. Only the reproductives within colonies show inheritance.

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