Journal article

Endocrine uncoupling of the trade-off between reproduction and somatic maintenance in eusocial insects

  • Rodrigues, Marisa A. Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Flatt, Thomas Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
Published in:
  • Current Opinion in Insect Science. - 2016, vol. 16, p. 1–8
English In most animals reproduction trades off with somatic maintenance and survival. Physiologically this trade-off is mediated by hormones with opposite effects on reproduction and maintenance. In many insects, this regulation is achieved by an endocrine network that integrates insulin-like/IGF-1 signaling (IIS), juvenile hormone (JH), and the yolk precursor vitellogenin (Vg) (or, more generally, yolk proteins [YPs]). Downregulation of this network promotes maintenance and survival at the expense of reproduction. Remarkably, however, queens of highly eusocial social insects exhibit both enormous reproductive output and longevity, thus escaping the trade-off. Here we argue — based on recent evidence — that the proximate reason for why eusocial insects can decouple this trade-off is that they have evolved a different ‘wiring’ of the IIS-JH-Vg/YP circuit.
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Département de Biologie
  • English
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