Solitary organisms can minimise fitness loss from parasitism with a facultative change to an earlier reproduction. Such a shift of the reproductive effort gives the host a chance to compensate for the cost on future reproduction resulting from the infection. In the case of social insects, where brood care and reproductive effort are shared between the queen and her workers, adjustments of the reproductive effort would depend on collective decision-making.
In the February issue of Ecology Letters, Moret and Schmid-Hempel at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Zurich, report a study that tested for this possibility by experimentally activating the immune response of individual workers in colonies of the bumblebee Bombus terrestris. This induction resulted, in combination with environmental conditions, in a reduction of fitness of the social unity and a collective response towards earlier reproduction. As both phenomena are expressed at the level of the colony, the result suggests that key elements of the use of immune defence have been maintained through the evolutionary transition to sociality.
Kate Stinchcombe | alfa
Plant seeds survive machine washing - Dispersal of invasive plants with clothes
11.09.2018 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.
Air pollution leads to cardiovascular diseases
21.08.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz (Germany) together with scientists from Dresden, Leipzig, Sofia (Bulgaria) and Madrid (Spain) have now developed and characterized a novel, metal-organic material which displays electrical properties mimicking those of highly crystalline silicon. The material which can easily be fabricated at room temperature could serve as a replacement for expensive conventional inorganic materials used in optoelectronics.
Silicon, a so called semiconductor, is currently widely employed for the development of components such as solar cells, LEDs or computer chips. High purity...
Augsburg chemists present a new technology for compressing, storing and transporting highly volatile gases in porous frameworks/New prospects for gas-powered vehicles
Storage of highly volatile gases has always been a major technological challenge, not least for use in the automotive sector, for, for example, methane or...
When we put water in a freezer, water molecules crystallize and form ice. This change from one phase of matter to another is called a phase transition. While this transition, and countless others that occur in nature, typically takes place at the same fixed conditions, such as the freezing point, one can ask how it can be influenced in a controlled way.
We are all familiar with such control of the freezing transition, as it is an essential ingredient in the art of making a sorbet or a slushy. To make a cold...
Thin organic layers provide machines and equipment with new functions. They enable, for example, tiny energy recuperators. In future, these will be installed...
Das Zusammenspiel aus Struktur und Dynamik bestimmt die Funktion von Proteinen, den molekularen Werkzeugen der Zelle. Durch Fortschritte in der...
17.10.2018 | Event News
16.10.2018 | Event News
02.10.2018 | Event News
22.10.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
19.10.2018 | Life Sciences
19.10.2018 | Physics and Astronomy