Data from: Phenotypic correlation between queen and worker brood care supports the role of maternal care in the evolution of eusociality
Walsh, Justin T.; Signorotti, Lisa; Linksvayer, Timothy A.; d'Ettorre, Patrizia (2019), Data from: Phenotypic correlation between queen and worker brood care supports the role of maternal care in the evolution of eusociality, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.qm114cj
Cooperative brood care by siblings, a defining feature of eusociality, is hypothesized to be evolutionarily derived from maternal care via shifts in the timing of the expression of genes underlying maternal care. If sibling and maternal care share a genetic basis, the two behaviors are expected to be genetically and phenotypically correlated. We tested this prediction in the black garden ant Lasius niger by quantifying the brood retrieval rate of queens and their first and later generation worker offspring. Brood retrieval rate of queens was positively phenotypically correlated with the brood retrieval rate of first generation but not with later generation workers. The difference between first and later generation workers could be due to the stronger similarity in care behavior provided by queens and first generation workers compared to later generations. Furthermore, we found that queen retrieval rate was positively correlated with colony productivity, suggesting that natural selection is acting on maternal care. Overall, our results support the idea of a shared genetic basis between maternal and sibling care as well as queen and worker traits more generally, which has implications for the role of intercaste correlations in the evolution of queen and worker traits and eusociality.
National Science Foundation, Award: IOS-1452520