Rapid anti-pathogen response in ant societies relies on high genetic diversity

L.V. Ugelvig, D. Kronauer, A. Schrempf, J. Heinze, S. Cremer, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B Biological Sciences 277 (2010) 2821–2828.


Journal Article | Published | English
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Abstract
Social organisms are constantly exposed to infectious agents via physical contact with conspecifics. While previous work has shown that disease susceptibility at the individual and group level is influenced by gen- etic diversity within and between group members, it remains poorly understood how group-level resistance to pathogens relates directly to individual physiology, defence behaviour and social interactions. We investigated the effects of high versus low genetic diversity on both the individual and collective disease defences in the ant Cardiocondyla obscurior. We compared the antiseptic behaviours (grooming and hygienic behaviour) of workers from genetically homogeneous and diverse colonies after exposure of their brood to the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae. While workers from diverse colonies performed intensive allogrooming and quickly removed larvae covered with live fungal spores from the nest, workers from homogeneous colonies only removed sick larvae late after infection. This difference was not caused by a reduced repertoire of antiseptic behaviours or a generally decreased brood care activity in ants from homogeneous colonies. Our data instead suggest that reduced genetic diversity compromises the ability of Cardiocondyla colonies to quickly detect or react to the presence of pathogenic fungal spores before an infection is established, thereby affecting the dynamics of social immunity in the colony.
Publishing Year
Date Published
2010-05-05
Journal Title
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B Biological Sciences
Volume
277
Issue
1695
Page
2821 - 2828
IST-REx-ID

Cite this

Ugelvig LV, Kronauer D, Schrempf A, Heinze J, Cremer S. Rapid anti-pathogen response in ant societies relies on high genetic diversity. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B Biological Sciences. 2010;277(1695):2821-2828. doi:10.1098/rspb.2010.0644
Ugelvig, L. V., Kronauer, D., Schrempf, A., Heinze, J., & Cremer, S. (2010). Rapid anti-pathogen response in ant societies relies on high genetic diversity. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B Biological Sciences, 277(1695), 2821–2828. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2010.0644
Ugelvig, Line V, Daniel Kronauer, Alexandra Schrempf, Jürgen Heinze, and Sylvia Cremer. “Rapid Anti-Pathogen Response in Ant Societies Relies on High Genetic Diversity.” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B Biological Sciences 277, no. 1695 (2010): 2821–28. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2010.0644.
L. V. Ugelvig, D. Kronauer, A. Schrempf, J. Heinze, and S. Cremer, “Rapid anti-pathogen response in ant societies relies on high genetic diversity,” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B Biological Sciences, vol. 277, no. 1695, pp. 2821–2828, 2010.
Ugelvig LV, Kronauer D, Schrempf A, Heinze J, Cremer S. 2010. Rapid anti-pathogen response in ant societies relies on high genetic diversity. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B Biological Sciences. 277(1695), 2821–2828.
Ugelvig, Line V., et al. “Rapid Anti-Pathogen Response in Ant Societies Relies on High Genetic Diversity.” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B Biological Sciences, vol. 277, no. 1695, Royal Society, The, 2010, pp. 2821–28, doi:10.1098/rspb.2010.0644.

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