Paper of the week: Nasonia sex pheromones

This week’s paper of the week is from our friends in the Nasonia community on the genetics and evolution of the sex-pheromone signalling system in Nasonia. Not that we are biased, but it’s a lovely paper, emphasising that signaller-receiver systems do not always need to evolve as a result of pre-existing receiver biases (however important they may generally be).

Niehuis et al (2013) Behavioural and genetic analyses of Nasonia shed light on the evolution of sex pheromones. Nature 494: 345-348.


Paper of the week: genetic basis of social organisation

The week’s paper of the week is from Wang et al on the genetic basis of social organisation (queen number & colony structure) in the fire ant Solenopsis invicta. In brief, a large inversion system, segregating as a Mendelian unit, contains genes associated with differences between mongyne and polygyne colonies: long-live super-genes!

Wang et al (2013) A Y-like social chromosome causes alternative colony organization in fire ants. Nature 493: 664-668.