Elsner Ebb Comparative Genomics Molecular Traits Social Insects Cois 2016 Graphical Abstract

Elsner D, Kremer LPM, Arning N, Bornberg-Bauer E
Comparative genomic approaches to investigate molecular traits specific to social insects
Current Opinion in Insect Science, 2016

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Ageing is a feature of nearly all known organisms and, by its connection to survival, appears to trade
off with fecundity. However, in some organisms such as in queens of social insects, this negative
relation appears reversed and individuals live long and reproduce much. Since new experimental
techniques, transcriptomes and genomes of many social insects have recently become available, a
comparison of these data in a phylogenetic framework becomes feasible. This allows the study
of general trends, species specific oddities and evolutionary dynamics of the molecular properties
and changes which underlie ageing, fecundity and the reversal of this negative association. In the
framework of social insect evolution, we review the most important recent insights, computational
methods, their applications and data resources which are available.