Evolution of the gene network underlying wing polyphenism in ants.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Wing polyphenism in ants evolved once, 125 million years ago, and has been a key to their amazing evolutionary success. We characterized the expression of several genes within the network underlying the wing primordia of reproductive (winged) and sterile (wingless) ant castes. We show that the expression of several genes within the network is conserved in the winged castes of four ant species, whereas points of interruption within the network in the wingless castes are evolutionarily labile. The simultaneous evolutionary lability and conservation of the network underlying wing development in ants may have played an important role in the morphological diversification of this group and may be a general feature of polyphenic development and evolution in plants and animals.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Abouheif, E; Wray, GA

Published Date

  • July 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 297 / 5579

Start / End Page

  • 249 - 252

PubMed ID

  • 12114626

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-9203

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0036-8075

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1126/science.1071468


  • eng