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Data from: Social cues trigger differential immune investment strategies in a non-social insect, Tenebrio molitor

Citation

Gallagher, Joe D.; Siva-Jothy, Michael T.; Evison, Sophie E.F.; Evison, Sophie E. F. (2018), Data from: Social cues trigger differential immune investment strategies in a non-social insect, Tenebrio molitor, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.s1636

Abstract

Social immunisation is a horizontal transfer of immunity which protects naïve hosts against infection following exposure to infected nestmates. Whilst mainly documented in eusocial insects, non-social species also share similar ecological features which favour the development of group-level immunity. Here we investigate social immunisation in Tenebrio molitor, by pairing naïve females with a pathogen-challenged conspecific for 72 h before measuring a series of immune and fitness traits. We found no evidence for social immunisation, as beetles who cohabited with a live-bacteria-challenged conspecific were not better protected against bacterial-challenge. However, exposure to a heat-killed-bacteria-challenged conspecific appeared to increase pathogen tolerance, which manifested in differential fitness investment. Our results together suggest that T. molitor do respond to immune-related cues in the social environment, despite not showing a classic immunisation response as predicted.

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