Reproduction and recruitment in perennial colonies of the introduced wasp Vespula germanica

Goodisman, M.D., Matthews, R.W., Spradbery, J.P., Carew, M.E., and Crozier, R.H. (2001) Reproduction and recruitment in perennial colonies of the introduced wasp Vespula germanica. Journal of Heredity, 92 (4). pp. 346-349.

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Abstract

We investigated the genetic structure of perennial colonies of the yellowjacket wasp (Vespula germanica) in its introduced range in Australia and New Zealand. The nuclear genotypes of 712 gynes from 21 colonies, 147 workers from 5 colonies, and 81 males from 4 colonies were assayed at three polymorphic microsatellite loci. The mitochondrial haplotypes of all wasps also were determined for a 450-bp region of the mtDNA using double-stranded conformational polymorphism (DSCP) analysis. We found that multiple reproductives were needed to explain the genotypes of gynes, workers, and males in 7 of 21, 2 of 5, and 2 of 4 colonies, respectively, and that nestmate relatedness of these three castes equaled 0.42, 0.16, and 0.22, respectively. The mitochondrial data revealed that all individuals shared the same mtDNA haplotype in 20 of the 21 colonies. However, in one colony, gynes and workers displayed multiple mtDNA haplotypes, indicating that nonnestmate recruitment had occurred. Overall the genetic structure within the majority of perennial colonies conformed to expectations based on the biology of V. germanica and kin selection theory for polygyne colonies; multiple reproductives successfully produced offspring and were recruited into their natal nests, thereby maintaining relatively high relatedness between interacting individuals.

Item ID: 13264
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
ISSN: 0022-1503
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2012 06:11
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0699 Other Biological Sciences > 069999 Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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