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20 Jul 2024 at 01:50
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Bibliography on: Kin Selection


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 20 Jul 2024 at 01:50 Created: 

Kin Selection

Wikipedia: Kin selection is the evolutionary strategy that favours the reproductive success of an organism's relatives, even at a cost to the organism's own survival and reproduction. Kin altruism is altruistic behaviour whose evolution is driven by kin selection. Kin selection is an instance of inclusive fitness, which combines the number of offspring produced with the number an individual can produce by supporting others, such as siblings. Charles Darwin discussed the concept of kin selection in his 1859 book, The Origin of Species, where he reflected on the puzzle of sterile social insects, such as honey bees, which leave reproduction to their mothers, arguing that a selection benefit to related organisms (the same "stock") would allow the evolution of a trait that confers the benefit but destroys an individual at the same time. R.A. Fisher in 1930 and J.B.S. Haldane in 1932 set out the mathematics of kin selection, with Haldane famously joking that he would willingly die for two brothers or eight cousins. In 1964, W.D. Hamilton popularised the concept and the major advance in the mathematical treatment of the phenomenon by George R. Price which has become known as "Hamilton's rule". In the same year John Maynard Smith used the actual term kin selection for the first time. According to Hamilton's rule, kin selection causes genes to increase in frequency when the genetic relatedness of a recipient to an actor multiplied by the benefit to the recipient is greater than the reproductive cost to the actor.

Created with PubMed® Query: ( "kin selection" OR "inclusive fitness" ) NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2024-06-21

Updegrove TB, Delerue T, Anantharaman V, et al (2024)

Altruistic feeding and cell-cell signaling during bacterial differentiation actively enhance phenotypic heterogeneity.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2024.03.27.587046.

Starvation triggers bacterial spore formation, a committed differentiation program that transforms a vegetative cell into a dormant spore. Cells in a population enter sporulation non-uniformly to secure against the possibility that favorable growth conditions, which puts sporulation-committed cells at a disadvantage, may resume. This heterogeneous behavior is initiated by a passive mechanism: stochastic activation of a master transcriptional regulator. Here, we identify a cell-cell communication pathway that actively promotes phenotypic heterogeneity, wherein Bacillus subtilis cells that start sporulating early utilize a calcineurin-like phosphoesterase to release glycerol, which simultaneously acts as a signaling molecule and a nutrient to delay non-sporulating cells from entering sporulation. This produced a more diverse population that was better poised to exploit a sudden influx of nutrients compared to those generating heterogeneity via stochastic gene expression alone. Although conflict systems are prevalent among microbes, genetically encoded cooperative behavior in unicellular organisms can evidently also boost inclusive fitness.

RevDate: 2024-06-06

Munasinghe M, Y Brandvain (2024)

Together Inbreeding and Reproductive Compensation Favor Lethal t-Haplotypes.

The Journal of heredity pii:7688813 [Epub ahead of print].

Male mice who are heterozygous for distorting and non-distorting alleles at the t-haplotype transmit the driving t-haplotype around 90% of the time - a drastic departure from Mendelian expectations. This selfish act comes at a cost. The mechanism underlying transmission distortion in this system causes severe sterility in males homozygous for the drive alleles, ultimately preventing its fixation. Curiously, many driving t-haplotypes also induce embryonic lethality in both sexes when homozygous; however, this is neither universal nor a necessity for this distortion mechanism. Charlesworth provided an adaptive explanation for the evolution of lethal t-haplotypes in a population segregating for distorting and non-distorting t alleles - if mothers compensate by replacing dead embryos with new offspring (or by transferring energy to surviving offspring), a recessive lethal can be favored because it effectively allows mothers the opportunity to trade in infertile males for potentially fertile offspring. This model, however, requires near complete reproductive compensation for the invasion of the lethal t-haplotype and produces an equilibrium frequency of lethal drivers well below what is observed in nature. We show that low levels of systemic inbreeding, which we model as brother-sister mating, allow lethal t-haplotypes to invade with much lower levels of reproductive compensation. Furthermore, inbreeding allows these lethal haplotypes to largely displace the ancestral male-sterile haplotypes. Our results show that together inbreeding and reproductive compensation move expected equilibria closer to observed haplotype frequencies in natural populations and occur under lower, potentially more reasonable, parameters.

RevDate: 2024-05-31

Ferreira HM, Alves DA, Cool L, et al (2024)

Toward greater realism in inclusive fitness models: the case of caste fate conflict in insect societies.

Evolution letters, 8(3):387-396 pii:qrad068.

In the field of social evolution, inclusive fitness theory has been successful in making a wide range of qualitative predictions on expected patterns of cooperation and conflict. Nevertheless, outside of sex ratio theory, inclusive fitness models that make accurate quantitative predictions remain relatively rare. Past models dealing with caste fate conflict in insect societies, for example, successfully predicted that if female larvae can control their own caste fate, an excess should opt to selfishly develop as queens. Available models, however, were unable to accurately predict levels of queen production observed in Melipona bees-a genus of stingless bees where caste is self-determined-as empirically observed levels of queen production are approximately two times lower than the theoretically predicted ones. Here, we show that this discrepancy can be resolved by explicitly deriving the colony-level cost of queen overproduction from a dynamic model of colony growth, requiring the incorporation of parameters of colony growth and demography, such as the per-capita rate at which new brood cells are built and provisioned, the percentage of the queen's eggs that are female, costs linked with worker reproduction and worker mortality. Our revised model predicts queen overproduction to more severely impact colony productivity, resulting in an evolutionarily stable strategy that is approximately half that of the original model, and is shown to accurately predict actual levels of queen overproduction observed in different Melipona species. Altogether, this shows how inclusive fitness models can provide accurate quantitative predictions, provided that costs and benefits are modeled in sufficient detail and are measured precisely.

RevDate: 2024-05-24

Kuszewska K, Woloszczuk A, M Woyciechowski (2024)

Reproductive Cessation and Post-Reproductive Lifespan in Honeybee Workers.

Biology, 13(5): pii:biology13050287.

The post-reproductive lifespan is an evolutionary enigma because the cessation of reproduction in animals seems contrary to the maximization of Darwinian fitness. Several theories aim to explain the evolution of menopause, one of which suggests that females of a certain age receive more fitness benefits via indirect selection (kin selection) than they would directly from continuing reproduction. Post-reproductive lifespans are not very common in nature but have been described in humans, nonhuman primates, a few species of toothed whales, guppies, and in some insect societies consisting of clonal colony members, such as aphid and ant societies. Here, we provide evidence that menopause also exists in honeybee societies. Our study shows that workers with a short life expectancy (older and/or injured workers) invest fewer resources and less time in their own reproduction than workers with a long life expectancy (younger and/or uninjured workers), even if their colony is hopelessly queenless. These results are consistent with the kin selection explanation for the evolution of menopause and help us understand the net effects of relatedness and social cooperation in animals.

RevDate: 2024-05-21
CmpDate: 2024-05-21

Walsman JC, Lambe M, JF Stephenson (2024)

Associating with kin selects for disease resistance and against tolerance.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 291(2023):20240356.

Behavioural and physiological resistance are key to slowing epidemic spread. We explore the evolutionary and epidemic consequences of their different costs for the evolution of tolerance that trades off with resistance. Behavioural resistance affects social cohesion, with associated group-level costs, while the cost of physiological resistance accrues only to the individual. Further, resistance, and the associated reduction in transmission, benefit susceptible hosts directly, whereas infected hosts only benefit indirectly, by reducing transmission to kin. We therefore model the coevolution of transmission-reducing resistance expressed in susceptible hosts with resistance expressed in infected hosts, as a function of kin association, and analyse the effect on population-level outcomes. Using parameter values for guppies, Poecilia reticulata, and their gyrodactylid parasites, we find that: (1) either susceptible or infected hosts should invest heavily in resistance, but not both; (2) kin association drives investment in physiological resistance more strongly than in behavioural resistance; and (3) even weak levels of kin association can favour altruistic infected hosts that invest heavily in resistance (versus selfish tolerance), eliminating parasites. Overall, our finding that weak kin association affects the coevolution of infected and susceptible investment in both behavioural and physiological resistance suggests that kin selection may affect disease dynamics across systems.

RevDate: 2024-05-07

Oszoli I, I Zachar (2024)

Group-selection via aggregative propagule-formation enables cooperative multicellularity in an individual based, spatial model.

PLoS computational biology, 20(5):e1012107 pii:PCOMPBIOL-D-23-01729 [Epub ahead of print].

The emergence of multicellularity is one of the major transitions in evolution that happened multiple times independently. During aggregative multicellularity, genetically potentially unrelated lineages cooperate to form transient multicellular groups. Unlike clonal multicellularity, aggregative multicellular organisms do not rely on kin selection instead other mechanisms maintain cooperation against cheater phenotypes that benefit from cooperators but do not contribute to groups. Spatiality with limited diffusion can facilitate group selection, as interactions among individuals are restricted to local neighbourhoods only. Selection for larger size (e.g. avoiding predation) may facilitate the emergence of aggregation, though it is unknown, whether and how much role such selection played during the evolution of aggregative multicellularity. We have investigated the effect of spatiality and the necessity of predation on the stability of aggregative multicellularity via individual-based modelling on the ecological timescale. We have examined whether aggregation facilitates the survival of cooperators in a temporally heterogeneous environment against cheaters, where only a subset of the population is allowed to periodically colonize a new, resource-rich habitat. Cooperators constitutively produce adhesive molecules to promote aggregation and propagule-formation while cheaters spare this expense to grow faster but cannot aggregate on their own, hence depending on cooperators for long-term survival. We have compared different population-level reproduction modes with and without individual selection (predation) to evaluate the different hypotheses. In a temporally homogeneous environment without propagule-based colonization, cheaters always win. Predation can benefit cooperators, but it is not enough to maintain the necessary cooperator amount in successive dispersals, either randomly or by fragmentation. Aggregation-based propagation however can ensure the adequate ratio of cooperators-to-cheaters in the propagule and is sufficient to do so even without predation. Spatiality combined with temporal heterogeneity helps cooperators via group selection, thus facilitating aggregative multicellularity. External stress selecting for larger size (e.g. predation) may facilitate aggregation, however, according to our results, it is neither necessary nor sufficient for aggregative multicellularity to be maintained when there is effective group-selection.

RevDate: 2024-04-29
CmpDate: 2024-04-29

Liechty T, Woo M, Rice LA, et al (2023)

Community Partners' Perspectives on Partnering With an Academic Research Team to Promote Disability-inclusive Fitness Programming.

Progress in community health partnerships : research, education, and action, 17(3):e11-e12.

RevDate: 2024-04-26

Andersen S (2024)

The maps of meaning consciousness theory.

Frontiers in psychology, 15:1161132.

In simple terms, consciousness is constituted by multiple goals for action and the continuous adjudication of such goals to implement action, which is referred to as the maps of meaning (MoM) consciousness theory. The MoM theory triangulates through three parallel corollaries: action (behavior), mechanism (morphology/pathophysiology), and goals (teleology). (1) An organism's consciousness contains fluid, nested goals. These goals are not intentionality, but intersectionality, via the Darwinian byproduct of embodiment meeting the world, i.e., Darwinian inclusive fitness or randomization and then survival of the fittest. (2) These goals are formed via a gradual descent under inclusive fitness and are the abstraction of a "match" between the evolutionary environment and the organism. (3) Human consciousness implements the brain efficiency hypothesis, genetics, epigenetics, and experience-crystallized efficiencies, not necessitating best or objective but fitness, i.e., perceived efficiency based on one's adaptive environment. These efficiencies are objectively arbitrary but determine the operation and level of one's consciousness, termed as extreme thrownness. (4) Since inclusive fitness drives efficiencies in the physiologic mechanism, morphology, and behavior (action) and originates one's goals, embodiment is necessarily entangled to human consciousness as it is at the intersection of mechanism or action (both necessitating embodiment) occurring in the world that determines fitness. (5) Perception is the operant process of consciousness and is the de facto goal adjudication process of consciousness. Goal operationalization is fundamentally efficiency-based via one's unique neuronal mapping as a byproduct of genetics, epigenetics, and experience. (6) Perception involves information intake and information discrimination, equally underpinned by efficiencies of inclusive fitness via extreme thrownness. Perception is not a 'frame rate' but Bayesian priors of efficiency based on one's extreme thrownness. (7) Consciousness and human consciousness are modular (i.e., a scalar level of richness, which builds up like building blocks) and dimensionalized (i.e., cognitive abilities become possibilities as the emergent phenomena at various modularities such as the stratified factors in factor analysis). (8) The meta dimensions of human consciousness seemingly include intelligence quotient, personality (five-factor model), richness of perception intake, and richness of perception discrimination, among other potentialities. (9) Future consciousness research should utilize factor analysis to parse modularities and dimensions of human consciousness and animal models.

RevDate: 2024-04-24

Kobayashi Y, M Ueno (2024)

Proximity and preening in captive Humboldt penguins.

Behavioural processes pii:S0376-6357(24)00047-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Group-living animals, including penguins, exhibit affiliative behaviors such as grooming, preening, and proximity. Such behaviors in non-primate animals have been less studied than those in primates. Our research focused on 20 identifiable Humboldt penguins in a zoo, analyzing kin relationships and reciprocity in preening and proximity by employing a 5-minute scan sampling method to observe and record individual behavior. Our findings revealed that preening and proximity were more prevalent among the mating pairs. However, among non-mate pairs, such behaviors were more commonly observed between siblings and parent-offspring pairs. Notably, the individuals preened on each other simultaneously in all instances. This study highlights the potential influence of kin selection in shaping the affiliative behavior of penguins. Additionally, our findings indicate that penguins gain benefits from mutual preening. This study contributes to our understanding of social behaviors in non-primate species and emphasizes the need for further comparative studies of various animal taxa to elucidate the evolution of sociality.

RevDate: 2024-04-20
CmpDate: 2024-04-08

West SA, AS Griffin (2024)

Microbial Primer: Cooperation in bacteria.

Microbiology (Reading, England), 170(4):.

The growth and success of many bacteria appear to rely on a stunning range of cooperative behaviours. But what is cooperation and how is it studied?

RevDate: 2024-04-26

Yang J, Wang Y, El Wakil A, et al (2024)

Extra-corporeal detoxification in insects.

Heliyon, 10(7):e28392.

Upon uptake of toxins, insects launch a detoxification program. This program is deployed in multiple organs and cells to raise their tolerance against the toxin. The molecular mechanisms of this program inside the insect body have been studied and understood in detail. Here, we report on a yet unexplored extra-corporeal detoxification of insecticides in Drosophila melanogaster. Wild-type D. melanogaster incubated with DDT, a contact insecticide, in a closed environment died as expected. However, incubation of a second cohort in the same environment after removal of the dead flies was not lethal. The effect was significantly lower if the flies of the two cohorts were unrelated. Incubation assays with Chlorpyrifos, another contact insecticide, yielded identical results, while incubation assays with Chlorantraniliprole, again a contact insecticide, was toxic for the second cohort of flies. A cohort of flies incubated in a DDT environment after an initial incubation of a honeybee survived treatment. Together, our data suggest that insects including Apis mellifera and D. melanogaster have the capacity to modify their proximate environment. Consequently, in their ecological niche, following individuals might be saved from intoxication thereby facilitating colonisation of an attractive site.

RevDate: 2024-03-29
CmpDate: 2024-03-29

McGrane-Corrigan B, Mason O, R de Andrade Moral (2024)

Inferring stochastic group interactions within structured populations via coupled autoregression.

Journal of theoretical biology, 584:111793.

The internal behaviour of a population is an important feature to take account of when modelling its dynamics. In line with kin selection theory, many social species tend to cluster into distinct groups in order to enhance their overall population fitness. Temporal interactions between populations are often modelled using classical mathematical models, but these sometimes fail to delve deeper into the, often uncertain, relationships within populations. Here, we introduce a stochastic framework that aims to capture the interactions of animal groups and an auxiliary population over time. We demonstrate the model's capabilities, from a Bayesian perspective, through simulation studies and by fitting it to predator-prey count time series data. We then derive an approximation to the group correlation structure within such a population, while also taking account of the effect of the auxiliary population. We finally discuss how this approximation can lead to ecologically realistic interpretations in a predator-prey context. This approximation also serves as verification to whether the population in question satisfies our various assumptions. Our modelling approach will be useful for empiricists for monitoring groups within a conservation framework and also theoreticians wanting to quantify interactions, to study cooperation and other phenomena within social populations.

RevDate: 2024-03-13

Fromhage L, Jennions MD, Myllymaa L, et al (2024)

Fitness as the organismal performance measure guiding adaptive evolution.

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution pii:7627807 [Epub ahead of print].

A long-standing problem in evolutionary theory is to clarify in what sense (if any) natural selection cumulatively improves the design of organisms. Various concepts, such as fitness and inclusive fitness, have been proposed to resolve this problem. In addition, there have been attempts to replace the original problem with more tractable questions such as whether a given gene or trait is favoured by selection. Here we ask what theoretical properties the concept fitness should possess to encapsulate the improvement criterion required to talk meaningfully about adaptive evolution. We argue that natural selection tends to shape phenotypes based on the causal properties of individuals, and that this tendency is therefore best captured by a fitness concept that focusses on these properties. We highlight a fitness concept which meets this role under broad conditions, but requires adjustments in our conceptual understanding of adaptive evolution. These adjustments combine elements of Dawkinsian gene selectionism and Egbert Leigh's "parliament of genes".

RevDate: 2024-04-24
CmpDate: 2024-04-24

Schradin C, Jaeggi AV, F Criscuolo (2024)

Quick Guide to Evolutionary Medicine in Neuroimmunomodulation: Why "Evolved for the Benefit of the Species" Is Not a Valid Argument.

Neuroimmunomodulation, 31(1):66-77.

BACKGROUND: Evolutionary medicine builds on evolutionary biology and explains why natural selection has left us vulnerable to disease. Unfortunately, several misunderstandings exist in the medical literature about the levels and mechanisms of evolution. Reasons for these problems start from the lack of teaching evolutionary biology in medical schools. A common mistake is to assume that "traits must benefit the species, as otherwise the species would have gone extinct in the past" confusing evolutionary history (phylogeny) with evolutionary function (fitness).

SUMMARY: Here we summarise some basic aspects of evolutionary medicine by pointing out: (1) Evolution has no aim. (2) For adaptive evolution to occur, a trait does not have to be beneficial to its carrier throughout its entire life. (3) Not every single individual carrying an adaptive trait needs to have higher than average fitness. (4) Traits do not evolve for the benefit of the species. Using examples from the field of neuroimmunomodulation like sickness behaviour (nervous system), testosterone (hormones), and cytokines (immunity), we show how misconceptions arise from not differentiating between the explanatory categories of phylogeny (evolutionary history) and evolutionary function (fitness).

KEY MESSAGES: Evolution has no aim but is an automatism that does not function for the benefit of the species. In evolution, successful individuals are those that maximise the transmission of their genes, and health and survival are just strategies to have the opportunity to do so. Thus, a trait enabling survival of the individual until reproductive age will spread even if at later age the same trait leads to disease and death. Natural and sexual selection do not select for traits that benefit the health or happiness of the individual, but for traits that increase inclusive fitness even if this increases human suffering. In contrast, our humane aim is to increase individual well-being. Evolutionary medicine can help us achieve this aim against evolutionary constraints.

RevDate: 2024-03-12
CmpDate: 2024-03-12

Libertini G (2023)

Phenoptosis and the Various Types of Natural Selection.

Biochemistry. Biokhimiia, 88(12):2007-2022.

In the first description of evolution, the fundamental mechanism is the natural selection favoring the individuals best suited for survival and reproduction (selection at the individual level or classical Darwinian selection). However, this is a very reductive description of natural selection that does not consider or explain a long series of known phenomena, including those in which an individual sacrifices or jeopardizes his life on the basis of genetically determined mechanisms (i.e., phenoptosis). In fact, in addition to (i) selection at the individual level, it is essential to consider other types of natural selection such as those concerning: (ii) kin selection and some related forms of group selection; (iii) the interactions between the innumerable species that constitute a holobiont; (iv) the origin of the eukaryotic cell from prokaryotic organisms; (v) the origin of multicellular eukaryotic organisms from unicellular organisms; (vi) eusociality (e.g., in many species of ants, bees, termites); (vii) selection at the level of single genes, or groups of genes; (viii) the interactions between individuals (or more precisely their holobionts) of the innumerable species that make up an ecosystem. These forms of natural selection, which are all effects and not violations of the classical Darwinian selection, also show how concepts as life, species, individual, and phenoptosis are somewhat not entirely defined and somehow arbitrary. Furthermore, the idea of organisms selected on the basis of their survival and reproduction capabilities is intertwined with that of organisms also selected on the basis of their ability to cooperate and interact, even by losing their lives or their distinct identities.

RevDate: 2024-04-08
CmpDate: 2024-04-08

Erler S, Cotter SC, Freitak D, et al (2024)

Insects' essential role in understanding and broadening animal medication.

Trends in parasitology, 40(4):338-349.

Like humans, animals use plants and other materials as medication against parasites. Recent decades have shown that the study of insects can greatly advance our understanding of medication behaviors. The ease of rearing insects under laboratory conditions has enabled controlled experiments to test critical hypotheses, while their spectrum of reproductive strategies and living arrangements - ranging from solitary to eusocial communities - has revealed that medication behaviors can evolve to maximize inclusive fitness through both direct and indirect fitness benefits. Studying insects has also demonstrated in some cases that medication can act through modulation of the host's innate immune system and microbiome. We highlight outstanding questions, focusing on costs and benefits in the context of inclusive host fitness.

RevDate: 2024-03-01

Kemp JT, Kline AG, LMA Bettencourt (2024)

Information synergy maximizes the growth rate of heterogeneous groups.

PNAS nexus, 3(2):pgae072.

Collective action and group formation are fundamental behaviors among both organisms cooperating to maximize their fitness and people forming socioeconomic organizations. Researchers have extensively explored social interaction structures via game theory and homophilic linkages, such as kin selection and scalar stress, to understand emergent cooperation in complex systems. However, we still lack a general theory capable of predicting how agents benefit from heterogeneous preferences, joint information, or skill complementarities in statistical environments. Here, we derive general statistical dynamics for the origin of cooperation based on the management of resources and pooled information. Specifically, we show how groups that optimally combine complementary agent knowledge about resources in statistical environments maximize their growth rate. We show that these advantages are quantified by the information synergy embedded in the conditional probability of environmental states given agents' signals, such that groups with a greater diversity of signals maximize their collective information. It follows that, when constraints are placed on group formation, agents must intelligently select with whom they cooperate to maximize the synergy available to their own signal. Our results show how the general properties of information underlie the optimal collective formation and dynamics of groups of heterogeneous agents across social and biological phenomena.

RevDate: 2024-03-10

Flatrès A, G Wild (2024)

Evolution of delayed dispersal with group size effect and population dynamics.

Theoretical population biology, 157:1-13 pii:S0040-5809(24)00016-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Individuals delay natal dispersal for many reasons. There may be no place to disperse to; immediate dispersal or reproduction may be too costly; immediate dispersal may mean that the individual and their relatives miss the benefits of group living. Understanding the factors that lead to the evolution of delayed dispersal is important because delayed dispersal sets the stage for complex social groups and social behavior. Here, we study the evolution of delayed dispersal when the quality of the local environment is improved by greater numbers of individuals (e.g., safety in numbers). We assume that individuals who delay natal dispersal also expect to delay personal reproduction. In addition, we assume that improved environmental quality benefits manifest as changes to fecundity and survival. We are interested in how do the changes in these life-history features affect delayed dispersal. We use a model that ties evolution to population dynamics. We also aim to understand the relationship between levels of delayed dispersal and the probability of establishing as an independent breeder (a population-level feature) in response to changes in life-history details. Our model emphasizes kin selection and considers a sexual organism, which allows us to study parent-offspring conflict over delayed dispersal. At evolutionary equilibrium, fecundity and survival benefits of group size or quality promote higher levels of delayed dispersal over a larger set of life histories with one exception. The exception is for benefits of increased group size or quality reaped by the individuals who delay dispersal. There, the increased benefit does not change the life histories supporting delay dispersal. Next, in contrast to previous predictions, we find that a low probability of establishing in a new location is not always associated with a higher incidence of delayed dispersal. Finally, we find that increased personal benefits of delayed dispersal exacerbate the conflict between parents and their offspring. We discuss our findings in relation to previous theoretical and empirical work, especially work related to cooperative breeding.

RevDate: 2024-03-01
CmpDate: 2024-02-29

Dewar AE, Belcher LJ, Scott TW, et al (2024)

Genes for cooperation are not more likely to be carried by plasmids.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 291(2017):20232549.

Cooperation is prevalent across bacteria, but risks being exploited by non-cooperative cheats. Horizontal gene transfer, particularly via plasmids, has been suggested as a mechanism to stabilize cooperation. A key prediction of this hypothesis is that genes which are more likely to be transferred, such as those on plasmids, should be more likely to code for cooperative traits. Testing this prediction requires identifying all genes for cooperation in bacterial genomes. However, previous studies used a method which likely misses some of these genes for cooperation. To solve this, we used a new genomics tool, SOCfinder, which uses three distinct modules to identify all kinds of genes for cooperation. We compared where these genes were located across 4648 genomes from 146 bacterial species. In contrast to the prediction of the hypothesis, we found no evidence that plasmid genes are more likely to code for cooperative traits. Instead, we found the opposite-that genes for cooperation were more likely to be carried on chromosomes. Overall, the vast majority of genes for cooperation are not located on plasmids, suggesting that the more general mechanism of kin selection is sufficient to explain the prevalence of cooperation across bacteria.

RevDate: 2024-03-11
CmpDate: 2024-03-07

Galdino ACM, Vaillancourt M, Celedonio D, et al (2024)

Siderophores promote cooperative interspecies and intraspecies cross-protection against antibiotics in vitro.

Nature microbiology, 9(3):631-646.

The antibiotic cefiderocol hijacks iron transporters to facilitate its uptake and resists β-lactamase degradation. While effective, resistance has been detected clinically with unknown mechanisms. Here, using experimental evolution, we identified cefiderocol resistance mutations in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Resistance was multifactorial in host-mimicking growth media, led to multidrug resistance and paid fitness costs in cefiderocol-free environments. However, kin selection drove some resistant populations to cross-protect susceptible individuals from killing by increasing pyoverdine secretion via a two-component sensor mutation. While pyochelin sensitized P. aeruginosa to cefiderocol killing, pyoverdine and the enterobacteria siderophore enterobactin displaced iron from cefiderocol, preventing uptake by susceptible cells. Among 113 P. aeruginosa intensive care unit clinical isolates, pyoverdine production directly correlated with cefiderocol tolerance, and high pyoverdine producing isolates cross-protected susceptible P. aeruginosa and other Gram-negative bacteria. These in vitro data show that antibiotic cross-protection can occur via degradation-independent mechanisms and siderophores can serve unexpected protective cooperative roles in polymicrobial communities.

RevDate: 2024-04-12
CmpDate: 2024-04-12

Montazeaud G, L Keller (2024)

Greenbeards in plants?.

The New phytologist, 242(3):870-877.

Greenbeards are selfish genetic elements that make their bearers behave either altruistically towards individuals bearing similar greenbeard copies or harmfully towards individuals bearing different copies. They were first proposed by W. D. Hamilton over 50 yr ago, to illustrate that kin selection may operate at the level of single genes. Examples of greenbeards have now been reported in a wide range of taxa, but they remain undocumented in plants. In this paper, we discuss the theoretical likelihood of greenbeard existence in plants. We then question why the greenbeard concept has never been applied to plants and speculate on how hypothetical greenbeards could affect plant-plant interactions. Finally, we point to different research directions to improve our knowledge of greenbeards in plants.

RevDate: 2024-02-20

Thomson L, Espinosa DP, Brandvain Y, et al (2024)

Linked selection and the evolution of altruism in family-structured populations.

Ecology and evolution, 14(2):e10980.

Much research on the evolution of altruism via kin selection, group selection, and reciprocity focuses on the role of a single locus or quantitative trait. Very few studies have explored how linked selection, or selection at loci neighboring an altruism locus, impacts the evolution of altruism. While linked selection can decrease the efficacy of selection at neighboring loci, it might have other effects including promoting selection for altruism by increasing relatedness in regions of low recombination. Here, we used population genetic simulations to study how negative selection at linked loci, or background selection, affects the evolution of altruism. When altruism occurs between full siblings, we found that background selection interfered with selection on the altruistic allele, increasing its fixation probability when the altruistic allele was disfavored and reducing its fixation when the allele was favored. In other words, background selection has the same effect on altruistic genes in family-structured populations as it does on other, nonsocial, genes. This contrasts with prior research showing that linked selective sweeps can favor the evolution of cooperation, and we discuss possibilities for resolving these contrasting results.

RevDate: 2024-02-18

Crespi B (2024)

The roots of STEM: what are the evolutionary and neural bases of human mathematics and technology?.

Brain, behavior and evolution pii:000537908 [Epub ahead of print].

Introduction Neural exaptations represent descent via transitions to novel neural functions. A primary transition in human cognitive and neural evolution was from a predominantly socially-oriented primate brain to a brain that also instantiates and subserves science, and technology, and engineering, all of which depend on mathematics. Upon what neural substrates, and upon what evolved cognitive mechanisms, did human capacities for STEM, and especially its mathematical underpinnings, emerge? Previous theory focuses on roles for tools, language, and arithmetic in the cognitive origins of STEM, but none of these factors appears sufficient to support the transition. Methods In this article, I describe and evaluate a novel hypothesis for the neural origins and substrates of STEM-based cognition: that they are based in human kinship systems and human maximizing of inclusive fitness. Results The main evidence for this hypothesis is threefold. First, as demonstrated by anthropologists, human kinship systems exhibit complex mathematical and geometrical structures that function under sets of explicit rules, and such systems and rules pervade and organize all human cultures. Second, human kinship underlies the core algebraic mechanism of evolution, maximization of inclusive fitness, quantified as personal reproduction plus the sum of all effects on reproduction of others, each multiplied by their coefficient of relatedness to self. This is the only 'natural' equation expected to be represented in the human brain. Third, functional imaging studies show that kinship-related cognition activates frontal-parietal regions that are also activated in STEM-related tasks. In turn, the decision-making that integrates kinship levels with costs and benefits from alternative behaviors has recently been shown to recruit the lateral septum, a hub region that combines internal (from the prefrontal cortex, amygdala and other regions) and external information relevant to social behavior, using a dedicated subsystem of neurons specific to kinship. Conclusions Taken together, these lines of evidence suggest that kinship systems, and kin-associated behaviors, may represent exaptations for the origin of human STEM.

RevDate: 2024-02-19
CmpDate: 2024-02-19

Kerr NZ, Morris WF, JR Walters (2024)

Inclusive Fitness May Explain Some but Not All Benefits Derived from Helping Behavior in a Cooperatively Breeding Bird.

The American naturalist, 203(3):393-410.

AbstractIn cooperative breeding systems, inclusive fitness theory predicts that nonbreeding helpers more closely related to the breeders should be more willing to provide costly alloparental care and thus have more impact on breeder fitness. In the red-cockaded woodpecker (Dryobates borealis), most helpers are the breeders' earlier offspring, but helpers do vary within groups in both relatedness to the breeders (some even being unrelated) and sex, and it can be difficult to parse their separate impacts on breeder fitness. Moreover, most support for inclusive fitness theory has been positive associations between relatedness and behavior rather than actual fitness consequences. We used functional linear models to evaluate the per capita effects of helpers of different relatedness on eight breeder fitness components measured for up to 41 years at three sites. In support of inclusive fitness theory, helpers more related to the breeding pair made greater contributions to six fitness components. However, male helpers made equal contributions to increasing prefledging survival regardless of relatedness. These findings suggest that both inclusive fitness benefits and other direct benefits may underlie helping behaviors in the red-cockaded woodpecker. Our results also demonstrate the application of an underused statistical approach to disentangle a complex ecological phenomenon.

RevDate: 2024-04-26
CmpDate: 2024-04-26

Waynforth D (2024)

Alloparental Support and Infant Psychomotor Developmental Delay.

Human nature (Hawthorne, N.Y.), 35(1):43-62.

Receiving social support from community and extended family has been typical for mothers with infants in human societies past and present. In non-industrialised contexts, infants of mothers with extended family support often have better health and higher survival through the vulnerable infant period, and hence shared infant care has a clear fitness benefit. However, there is scant evidence that these benefits continue in industrialised contexts. Better infant health and development with allocare support would indicate continued evolutionary selection for allocare. The research reported here used multiple logistic regression analysis to test whether a lack of family and other social support for mothers was associated with an increased risk of developmental delay in 9-month-old infants in the UK Millennium Cohort (analysis sample size, 15,696 infants). Extended family-based childcare during work hours and more maternal time spent with friends were the most influential kin and social support variables: infants of mothers with kin-based childcare versus all other childcare arrangements had a lower risk of developmental delay (OR = 0.61, 95% CIs: 0.46-0.82). Infants of mothers who spent no time with friends when compared with those who saw friends every day had double the odds of delay. Greater paternal involvement in infant care was associated with a lower odds of developmental delay. In conclusion, shared care of infants and social support for mothers may influence fitness-related traits in industrialised societies rather than being factors that influenced selection only in the past and in societies which retain close kin networks and a strong local community focus.

RevDate: 2024-02-17
CmpDate: 2024-02-15

Araujo NS, Ogihara F, Martins PM, et al (2024)

Insights from Melipona bicolor hybrid genome assembly: a stingless bee genome with chromosome-level scaffold.

BMC genomics, 25(1):171.

BACKGROUND: The highly eusocial stingless bees are crucial pollinators of native and agricultural ecosystems. Nevertheless, genomic studies within this bee tribe remain scarce. We present the genome assembly of the stingless bee Melipona bicolor. This bee is a remarkable exception to the typical single-queen colony structure, since in this species, multiple queens may coexist and share reproductive duties, resulting in genetically diverse colonies with weak kinship connections. As the only known genuinely polygynous bee, M. bicolor's genome provides a valuable resource for investigating sociality beyond kin selection.

RESULTS: The genome was assembled employing a hybrid approach combining short and long reads, resulting in 241 contigs spanning 259 Mb (N50 of 6.2 Mb and 97.5% complete BUSCOs). Comparative analyses shed light on some evolutionary aspects of stingless bee genomics, including multiple chromosomal rearrangements in Melipona. Additionally, we explored the evolution of venom genes in M. bicolor and other stingless bees, revealing that, apart from two genes, the conserved repertoire of venom components remains under purifying selection in this clade.

CONCLUSION: This study advances our understanding of stingless bee genomics, contributing to the conservation efforts of these vital pollinators and offering insights into the evolutionary mechanisms driving their unique adaptations.

RevDate: 2024-03-04
CmpDate: 2024-03-04

Downing PA (2024)

Michener's group-size paradox in cooperatively breeding birds.

Journal of evolutionary biology, 37(3):353-359.

According to Michener's paradox, most altruistic groups in nature should be small and large groups should not exist. This is because per capita productivity is thought to decrease as groups get larger, meaning that the share of indirect fitness available to each group member declines, which favours dispersal. The empirical evidence for a decrease in per capita productivity is contradictory, however, and limited to the social Hymenoptera. I report that per capita reproductive success decreased with increasing group size across 26 cooperatively breeding bird species. Small groups comprising two or three individuals were the most common (79% of 16,101 groups), and these had the highest per capita reproductive success. This close fit between per capita reproductive success and the distribution of group sizes in nature suggests that it may indeed be difficult for large groups to evolve through indirect fitness benefits alone.

RevDate: 2024-01-28

Schroeder JL, Worm AJ, Sweet AD, et al (2024)

Genomic data reveal unexpected relatedness between a brown female Eastern Bluebird and her brood.

Ecology and evolution, 14(1):e10851.

Because plumage coloration is frequently involved in sexual selection, for both male and female mate choice, birds with aberrant plumage should have fewer mating opportunities and thus lower reproductive output. Here we report an Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) female with a brown phenotype that raised a brood of four chicks to fledging. The brown female and her mate were only related to their social offspring to the second degree and one of the offspring was a half-sibling. We propose four family tree scenarios and discuss their implications (e.g., extra-pair paternity, conspecific brood parasitism). Regardless of the tree, the brown female was able to find a mate, which may have been facilitated by the bottleneck created by the severe snowstorms in February 2021.

RevDate: 2024-02-06
CmpDate: 2024-01-26

Chapman H, Hsiung KC, Rawlinson I, et al (2024)

Colony level fitness analysis identifies a trade-off between population growth rate and dauer yield in Caenorhabditis elegans.

BMC ecology and evolution, 24(1):13.

BACKGROUND: In the evolution from unicellular to multicellular life forms, natural selection favored reduced cell proliferation and even programmed cell death if this increased organismal fitness. Could reduced individual fertility or even programmed organismal death similarly increase the fitness of colonies of closely-related metazoan organisms? This possibility is at least consistent with evolutionary theory, and has been supported by computer modelling. Caenorhabditis elegans has a boom and bust life history, where populations of nematodes that are sometimes near clonal subsist on and consume food patches, and then generate dauer larva dispersal propagules. A recent study of an in silico model of C. elegans predicted that one determinant of colony fitness (measured as dauer yield) is minimization of futile food consumption (i.e. that which does not contribute to dauer yield). One way to achieve this is to optimize colony population structure by adjustment of individual fertility.

RESULTS: Here we describe development of a C. elegans colony fitness assay, and its use to investigate the effect of altering population structure on colony fitness after population bust. Fitness metrics measured were speed of dauer production, and dauer yield, an indirect measure of efficiency of resource utilization (i.e. conversion of food into dauers). We find that with increasing founder number, speed of dauer production increases (due to earlier bust) but dauer yield rises and falls. In addition, some dauer recovery was detected soon after the post-colony bust peak of dauer yield, suggesting possible bet hedging among dauers.

CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest the presence of a fitness trade-off at colony level between speed and efficiency of resource utilization in C. elegans. They also provide indirect evidence that population structure is a determinant of colony level fitness, potentially by affecting level of futile food consumption.

RevDate: 2024-03-22
CmpDate: 2024-02-19

Scott TW (2024)

Crozier's paradox and kin recognition: Insights from simplified models.

Journal of theoretical biology, 581:111735.

Crozier's paradox suggests that genetic kin recognition will not be evolutionarily stable. The problem is that more common tags (markers) are more likely to be recognised and helped. This causes common tags to increase in frequency, eliminating the genetic variability that is required for genetic kin recognition. In recent years, theoretical models have resolved Crozier's paradox in different ways, but they are based on very complicated multi-locus population genetics. Consequently, it is hard to see exactly what is going on, and whether different theoretical resolutions of Crozier's paradox lead to different types of kin discrimination. I address this by making unrealistic simplifying assumptions to produce a more tractable and understandable model of Crozier's paradox. I use this to interpret a more complex multi-locus population genetic model where I have not made the same simplifying assumptions. I explain how Crozier's paradox can be resolved, and show that only one known theoretical resolution of Crozier's paradox - multiple social encounters - leads without restrictive assumptions to the type of highly cooperative and reliable form of kin discrimination that we observe in nature. More generally, I show how adopting a methodological approach where complex models are compared with simplified ones can lead to greater understanding and accessibility.

RevDate: 2024-02-01
CmpDate: 2024-01-19

Komatsu H, Kubota H, Asano K, et al (2024)

Effect of information provision by familial nudging on attitudes toward offshore wind power.

PloS one, 19(1):e0297199.

Offshore wind power (OWP) is a promising way to achieve decarbonization and tackle global climate change, but acceptance by residents is an important issue for site location. Information provision could be a more cost-effective intervention than debates or subsidies, assuming that scientifically correct information alone is insufficient and information design to boost the message effects considering realistic human responses is necessary. Thus, we designed nudging messages to increase acceptance of OWP, using a message framework to moderate risk-averse attitudes by reminding readers of familial support based on insights from kin selection theory from evolutionary psychology. A randomized controlled trial based on an internet survey of more than 4000 responses from the general public was performed to investigate the message effects. The messages significantly moderated the risk-averse attitudes toward OWP by 0.228 on average on a five-point Likert scale, which meant that about 5 people out of 100 changed their attitudes to be safer by 1 point. This suggests that disseminating flyers using nudging messages might be an effective way to increase acceptance. We also extracted responses from those who mentioned fisheries in an open-ended question as an alternative to actual fishers. Responses from this segment were more complex and the message effects were limited compared with those who did not mention fisheries; although the attitudes toward OWP before receiving the messages were safer, reading descriptions for potential risks on fisheries may have unexpectedly led them to focus on the risks of which they were unaware at first. Because information provision based on nudging is effective but just one of a wide variety of political interventions available, practitioners should consider a combination of multiple options instead of using only nudging messages.

RevDate: 2024-04-09
CmpDate: 2024-04-09

Pretelli I, Crittenden AN, Dounias E, et al (2024)

Child and adolescent foraging: New directions in evolutionary research.

Evolutionary anthropology, 33(2):e22020.

Young children and adolescents in subsistence societies forage for a wide range of resources. They often target child-specific foods, they can be very successful foragers, and they share their produce widely within and outside of their nuclear family. At the same time, while foraging, they face risky situations and are exposed to diseases that can influence their immune development. However, children's foraging has largely been explained in light of their future (adult) behavior. Here, we reinterpret findings from human behavioral ecology, evolutionary medicine and cultural evolution to center foraging children's contributions to life history evolution, community resilience and immune development. We highlight the need to foreground immediate alongside delayed benefits and costs of foraging, including inclusive fitness benefits, when discussing children's food production from an evolutionary perspective. We conclude by recommending that researchers carefully consider children's social and ecological context, develop cross-cultural perspectives, and incorporate children's foraging into Indigenous sovereignty discourse.

RevDate: 2024-01-12

Qian C, Wen C, Guo X, et al (2024)

Gregariousness in lepidopteran larvae.

Insect science [Epub ahead of print].

The gregarious lifestyle of lepidopteran larvae is diverse and shaped by a complex interplay of ecological and evolutionary factors. Our review showed that the larval-aggregation behavior has been reported in 23 lepidopteran families, indicating multiple evolution of this behavior. Some larvae live in sibling groups throughout all larval instars and even pupation stages, which may result from the kin-selection. In contrast, group fusion may occur among different sibling or foraging groups of larvae and form larger aggregates, and the gregariousness of these species might be driven by the group-selection. While group size and foraging patterns vary greatly across species, it is generally associated with improved larval survivorship and accelerated development. However, the advantages of group living, such as facilitating feeding activities, adjusting the temperature, and defending natural enemies, may diminish along with development, with strong intraspecific competition occurring at later instars, even when food is abundant. Therefore, the group sizes and fission-fusion dynamics of certain gregarious lepidopteran larvae may be a consequence of their cost-benefit balance depending on various biotic and abiotic factors. Trail and aggregation pheromones, silk trails, or body contact contribute to collective movement and group cohesion of gregarious lepidopteran larvae. However, frequent contact among group members may cause the horizontal transmission of pathogens and pesticides, which may bring an integrated pest management strategy controlling gregarious lepidopteran pests.

RevDate: 2024-02-13
CmpDate: 2024-01-15

Schmid M, Rueffler C, Lehmann L, et al (2024)

Resource Variation Within and Between Patches: Where Exploitation Competition, Local Adaptation, and Kin Selection Meet.

The American naturalist, 203(1):E19-E34.

AbstractIn patch- or habitat-structured populations, different processes can favor adaptive polymorphism at different scales. While spatial heterogeneity can generate spatially disruptive selection favoring variation between patches, local competition can lead to locally disruptive selection promoting variation within patches. So far, almost all theory has studied these two processes in isolation. Here, we use mathematical modeling to investigate how resource variation within and between habitats influences the evolution of variation in a consumer population where individuals compete in finite patches connected by dispersal. We find that locally and spatially disruptive selection typically act in concert, favoring polymorphism under a wider range of conditions than when in isolation. But when patches are small and dispersal between them is low, kin competition inhibits the emergence of polymorphism, especially when the latter is driven by local competition for resources. We further use our model to clarify what comparisons between trait and neutral genetic differentiation (QST/FST comparisons) can tell about the nature of selection. Overall, our results help us understand the interaction between two major drivers of polymorphism: locally and spatially disruptive selection, and how this interaction is modulated by the unavoidable effects of kin selection under limited dispersal.

RevDate: 2024-01-03

Hayman J, DW Fortune (2023)

Sexual Orientation in Twins: Evidence That Human Sexual Identity May Be Determined Five Days Following Fertilization.

Cureus, 15(12):e51346.

Human same-sex sexual attraction has been recorded from the beginning of written history. It remains a controversial topic, but recent theories favor prenatal influences. A paradox is the occurrence of same-sex orientation in twins in that there is a higher level of concordance in monozygous twins compared to that in dizygous twins or non-twin siblings. If sexual orientation was entirely genetically determined monozygous twins would be expected to have identical sexual inclinations. Monozygous twins have twice the incidence of sexual concordance in comparison to dizygous twins but a third of these pairs have different sexual identities. An explanation for this disparity may lie in the time an embryo splits to form two separate fetuses. If splitting occurs early in twin development each twin may develop his or her own sexual identity; splitting occurring later results in twins that have the same sexual dispositions. A possible process for such determination may be in the mitochondria, with universal maternal inheritance of a proportion of normal functioning but alternate mitochondria. Variation in the distribution of these mitochondria in neural precursor cells becomes a mechanism for the development of intrinsic sexual orientation and for the spectrum of human sexual inclinations. The timing of embryonic splitting may be determined from the examination of fetal membranes, and the concept of early fetal sexual orientation is open to support or disproval.

RevDate: 2024-01-05
CmpDate: 2023-12-21

Belcher LJ, Dewar AE, Hao C, et al (2023)

SOCfinder: a genomic tool for identifying social genes in bacteria.

Microbial genomics, 9(12):.

Bacteria cooperate by working collaboratively to defend their colonies, share nutrients, and resist antibiotics. Nevertheless, our understanding of these remarkable behaviours primarily comes from studying a few well-characterized species. Consequently, there is a significant gap in our understanding of microbial social traits, particularly in natural environments. To address this gap, we can use bioinformatic tools to identify genes that control cooperative or otherwise social traits. Existing tools address this challenge through two approaches. One approach is to identify genes that encode extracellular proteins, which can provide benefits to neighbouring cells. An alternative approach is to predict gene function using annotation tools. However, these tools have several limitations. Not all extracellular proteins are cooperative, and not all cooperative behaviours are controlled by extracellular proteins. Furthermore, existing functional annotation methods frequently miss known cooperative genes. We introduce SOCfinder as a new tool to find bacterial genes that control cooperative or otherwise social traits. SOCfinder combines information from several methods, considering if a gene is likely to [1] code for an extracellular protein [2], have a cooperative functional annotation, or [3] be part of the biosynthesis of a cooperative secondary metabolite. We use data on two extensively-studied species (P. aeruginosa and B. subtilis) to show that SOCfinder is better at finding known cooperative genes than existing tools. We also use theory from population genetics to identify a signature of kin selection in SOCfinder cooperative genes, which is lacking in genes identified by existing tools. SOCfinder opens up a number of exciting directions for future research, and is available to download from https://github.com/lauriebelch/SOCfinder.

RevDate: 2023-12-01
CmpDate: 2023-11-30

Rodrigues AMM, A Gardner (2023)

Transmission of social status drives cooperation and offspring philopatry.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 290(2011):20231314.

The evolution of cooperation depends on two crucial overarching factors: relatedness, which describes the extent to which the recipient shares genes in common with the actor; and quality, which describes the recipient's basic capacity to transmit genes into the future. While most research has focused on relatedness, there is a growing interest in understanding how quality modulates the evolution of cooperation. However, the impact of inheritance of quality on the evolution of cooperation remains largely unexplored, especially in spatially structured populations. Here, we develop a mathematical model to understand how inheritance of quality, in the form of social status, influences the evolution of helping and harming within social groups in a viscous-population setting. We find that: (1) status-reversal transmission, whereby parental and offspring status are negatively correlated, strongly inhibits the evolution of cooperation, with low-status individuals investing less in cooperation and high-status individuals being more prone to harm; (2) transmission of high status promotes offspring philopatry, with more cooperation being directed towards the higher-dispersal social class; and (3) fertility inequality and inter-generational status inheritance reduce within-group conflict. Overall, our study highlights the importance of considering different mechanisms of phenotypic inheritance, including social support, and their potential interactions in shaping animal societies.

RevDate: 2024-01-10
CmpDate: 2024-01-10

Reynolds-Hogland M, Brooks C, Ramsey AB, et al (2024)

Long-term video and genetic data yield insights into complex sociality of a solitary large carnivore.

Behavioural processes, 214:104972.

American black bears (Ursus americanus) may be more social than currently understood. We used long-term video and genetic data to evaluate social interactions among wild, independent-aged black bear on a conservation property in western Montana, USA. We used multinomial logistic regression to evaluate predictions about male-male interactions within the context of individual fitness, female-female interactions within the context of inclusive fitness, and male-female interactions within the context of female counterstrategies to infanticide. Overall, our findings challenged the assumption that independent-aged bears interact only during the mating season or when concentrated feeding sites are present. We documented 169 interaction events by at least 66 bear pairs, 92 (54%) of which occurred outside of the peak mating season and in the absence of concentrated feeding sites. The probability that male-male pairs engaged in play and other non-agonistic behaviours was higher than that for female-female pairs. Conversely, the probability that female-female pairs engaged in chase behaviour was higher than that for male-male and male-female pairs. We documented evidence of female mate choice, female resource defense, sexually selected infanticide (SSI), and female counterstrategies to avoid SSI. Our findings improve our understanding of ursid ethology and underscore the complexity of ursid sociality.

RevDate: 2023-12-19
CmpDate: 2023-11-27

Alizon S (2023)

Multiple infection theory rather than 'socio-virology'? A commentary on Leeks et al. 2023.

Journal of evolutionary biology, 36(11):1571-1576.

RevDate: 2024-02-12

McCormack JL, Arbuckle K, Fullard K, et al (2023)

Lack of intergenerational reproductive conflict, rather than lack of inclusive fitness benefits, explains absence of post-reproductive lifespan in long-finned pilot whales.

Behavioral ecology : official journal of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology, 34(6):950-959.

Life-history theory suggests that individuals should reproduce until death, yet females of a small number of mammals live for a significant period after ceasing reproduction, a phenomenon known as post-reproductive lifespan. It is thought that the evolution of this trait is facilitated by increasing local relatedness throughout a female's lifetime. This allows older females to gain inclusive fitness through helping their offspring (known as a mother effect) and/or grandoffspring (known as a grandmother effect), rather than gaining direct fitness through reproducing. However, older females may only benefit from stopping reproducing when their direct offspring compete with those of their daughters. Here, we investigate whether a lack of post-reproductive lifespan in long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas) results from minimal benefits incurred from the presence of older females, or from a lack of costs resulting from mother-daughter co-reproduction. Using microsatellite data, we conducted parentage analysis on individuals from 25 pods and find that younger females were more likely to have offspring if their mother was present in their pod, indicating that mothers may assist inexperienced daughters to reproduce. However, we found no evidence of reproductive conflict between co-reproducing mothers and daughters, indicating that females may be able to reproduce into old age while simultaneously aiding their daughters in reproduction. This highlights the importance of reproductive conflict in the evolution of a post-reproductive lifespan and demonstrates that mother and grandmother effects alone do not result in the evolution of a post-reproductive lifespan.

RevDate: 2023-12-07
CmpDate: 2023-11-08

Liechty T, Woo M, Rice LA, et al (2023)

Community Partners' Perspectives on Partnering With an Academic Research Team to Promote Disability-inclusive Fitness Programming.

Progress in community health partnerships : research, education, and action, 17(3):429-437.

BACKGROUND: Community-based fitness programs can support public health by providing access to physical activity opportunities for a vulnerable population with significant barriers. Unfortunately, programs specifically designed for people with disabilities (PWD) and staff training to promote inclusion for PWD in general population programs is limited. The current study aimed to review an on-going partnership that had formed to address this need.

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to assess community partners' experiences with a community-academic partnership designed to implement a fitness program for people with multiple sclerosis and also to promote inclusion for PWD in community-based fitness programming.

METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six community partners who had been engaged in a formal partnership with the academic institution for 2 or more years to understand partners' experiences and perspectives about the partnership. Interviews were audio/video recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed thematically.

RESULTS: Participants described their experiences as falling into four main areas. Pre-partnership experiences (or lack thereof) shaped participants views on entering into academic partnerships. Communication and planning for mutual benefit were key to getting the partnership started. Partners identified challenges and factors for success while they were in the thick of partnership activities. Finally, evaluation allowed for assessment and improvement of the partnership itself and its ultimate goals.

CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that academic-community partnerships can be ideal for promoting inclusion for PWD and highlight insights that can be used in the development of future partnerships.

RevDate: 2023-12-27
CmpDate: 2023-11-29

Gardner A (2024)

A geometric approach to the evolution of altruism.

Journal of theoretical biology, 576:111653.

Fisher's geometric model provides a powerful tool for making predictions about key properties of Darwinian adaptation. Here, I apply the geometric model to predict differences between the evolution of altruistic versus nonsocial phenotypes. I recover Kimura's prediction that probability of fixation is greater for mutations of intermediate size, but I find that the effect size that maximises probability of fixation is relatively small in the context of altruism and relatively large in the context of nonsocial phenotypes, and that the overall probability of fixation is lower for altruism and is higher for nonsocial phenotypes. Accordingly, the first selective substitution is expected to be smaller, and to take longer, in the context of the evolution of altruism. These results strengthen the justification for employing streamlined social evolutionary methodologies that assume adaptations are underpinned by many genes of small effect.

RevDate: 2023-11-22
CmpDate: 2023-10-26

Szilágyi A, Czárán T, Santos M, et al (2023)

Directional selection coupled with kin selection favors the establishment of senescence.

BMC biology, 21(1):230.

BACKGROUND: Conventional wisdom in evolutionary theory considers aging as a non-selected byproduct of natural selection. Based on this, conviction aging was regarded as an inevitable phenomenon. It was also thought that in the wild organisms tend to die from diseases, predation and other accidents before they could reach the time when senescence takes its course. Evidence has accumulated, however, that aging is not inevitable and there are organisms that show negative aging even. Furthermore, old age does play a role in the deaths of many different organisms in the wild also. The hypothesis of programmed aging posits that a limited lifespan can evolve as an adaptation (i.e., positively selected for) in its own right, partly because it can enhance evolvability by eliminating "outdated" genotypes. A major shortcoming of this idea is that non-aging sexual individuals that fail to pay the demographic cost of aging would be able to steal good genes by recombination from aging ones.

RESULTS: Here, we show by a spatially explicit, individual-based simulation model that aging can positively be selected for if a sufficient degree of kin selection complements directional selection. Under such conditions, senescence enhances evolvability because the rate of aging and the rate of recombination play complementary roles. The selected aging rate is highest at zero recombination (clonal reproduction). In our model, increasing extrinsic mortality favors evolved aging by making up free space, thereby decreasing competition and increasing drift, even when selection is stabilizing and the level of aging is set by mutation-selection balance. Importantly, higher extrinsic mortality is not a substitute for evolved aging under directional selection either. Reduction of relatedness decreases the evolved level of aging; chance relatedness favors non-aging genotypes. The applicability of our results depends on empirical values of directional and kin selection in the wild.

CONCLUSIONS: We found that aging can positively be selected for in a spatially explicit population model when sufficiently strong directional and kin selection prevail, even if reproduction is sexual. The view that there is a conceptual link between giving up clonal reproduction and evolving an aging genotype is supported by computational results.

RevDate: 2024-04-14

Belcher LJ, Dewar AE, Hao C, et al (2023)

Signatures of kin selection in a natural population of the bacteria Bacillus subtilis.

Evolution letters, 7(5):315-330.

Laboratory experiments have suggested that bacteria perform a range of cooperative behaviors, which are favored because they are directed toward relatives (kin selection). However, there is a lack of evidence for cooperation and kin selection in natural bacterial populations. Molecular population genetics offers a promising method to study natural populations because the theory predicts that kin selection will lead to relaxed selection, which will result in increased polymorphism and divergence at cooperative genes. Examining a natural population of Bacillus subtilis, we found consistent evidence that putatively cooperative traits have higher polymorphism and greater divergence than putatively private traits expressed at the same rate. In addition, we were able to eliminate alternative explanations for these patterns and found more deleterious mutations in genes controlling putatively cooperative traits. Overall, our results suggest that cooperation is favored by kin selection, with an average relatedness of r = .79 between interacting individuals.

RevDate: 2023-10-13
CmpDate: 2023-10-12

Bourke AFG (2023)

Conflict and conflict resolution in the major transitions.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 290(2008):20231420.

Conflict and conflict resolution have been argued to be fundamental to the major transitions in evolution. These were key events in life's history in which previously independently living individuals cooperatively formed a higher-level individual, such as a multicellular organism or eusocial colony. Conflict has its central role because, to proceed stably, the evolution of individuality in each major transition required within-individual conflict to be held in check. This review revisits the role of conflict and conflict resolution in the major transitions, addressing recent work arguing for a minor role. Inclusive fitness logic suggests that differences between the kin structures of clones and sexual families support the absence of conflict at the origin of multicellularity but, by contrast, suggest that key conflicts existed at the origin of eusociality. A principal example is conflict over replacing the founding queen (queen replacement). Following the origin of each transition, conflict remained important, because within-individual conflict potentially disrupts the attainment of maximal individuality (organismality) in the system. The conclusion is that conflict remains central to understanding the major transitions, essentially because conflict arises from differences in inclusive fitness optima while conflict resolution can help the system attain a high degree of coincidence of inclusive fitness interests.

RevDate: 2023-10-12
CmpDate: 2023-10-05

Scott TW, G Wild (2023)

How to make an inclusive-fitness model.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 290(2008):20231310.

Social behaviours are typically modelled using neighbour-modulated fitness, which focuses on individuals having their fitness altered by neighbours. However, these models are either interpreted using inclusive fitness, which focuses on individuals altering the fitness of neighbours, or not interpreted at all. This disconnect leads to interpretational mistakes and obscures the adaptive significance of behaviour. We bridge this gap by presenting a systematic methodology for constructing inclusive-fitness models. We find a behaviour's 'inclusive-fitness effect' by summing primary and secondary deviations in reproductive value. Primary deviations are the immediate result of a social interaction; for example, the cost and benefit of an altruistic act. Secondary deviations are compensatory effects that arise because the total reproductive value of the population is fixed; for example, the increased competition that follows an altruistic act. Compared to neighbour-modulated fitness methodologies, our approach is often simpler and reveals the model's inclusive-fitness narrative clearly. We implement our methodology first in a homogeneous population, with supplementary examples of help under synergy, help in a viscous population and Creel's paradox. We then implement our methodology in a class-structured population, where the advantages of our approach are most evident, with supplementary examples of altruism between age classes, and sex-ratio evolution.

RevDate: 2023-11-14
CmpDate: 2023-11-02

Li Z, Chen S, Wei S, et al (2023)

Should sons breed independently or help? Local relatedness matters.

The Journal of animal ecology, 92(11):2189-2200.

In cooperatively breeding birds, why do some individuals breed independently but others have to help at home? This question has been rarely addressed despite its fundamental importance for understanding the evolution of social cooperation. We address it using 15 years of data from Tibetan ground tits Pseudopodoces humilis where helpers consist of younger males. Since whether younger males successfully breed depends critically on their chances to occupy territories nearby home, our analytic strategy is to identify the determinants of individual differences in gaining territory ownership among these ready-to-breed males. Across widowed, last-year helper and yearling males, an age advantage was evident in inheriting resident territories, occupying adjacent vacancies and budding off part of adjacent territories, which left some last-year helpers and most yearling males to take the latter two routes. These males were more likely to acquire a territory if they were genetically related to the previous or current territory owners; otherwise they remained on natal territories as helpers. The relatedness effect can arise from the prior residence advantage established in the preceding winter when younger males followed their parents to perform kin-directed off-territory forays. Our research highlights the key role of local kinship in determining younger males' territory acquisition and thus their fate in terms of independent reproduction versus help. This finding provides insight into the formation of kin-based, facultative cooperative societies prevailing among vertebrates.

RevDate: 2023-10-23

Bresnahan ST, Galbraith D, Ma R, et al (2023)

Beyond conflict: Kinship theory of intragenomic conflict predicts individual variation in altruistic behaviour.

Molecular ecology, 32(21):5823-5837.

Behavioural variation is essential for animals to adapt to different social and environmental conditions. The Kinship Theory of Intragenomic Conflict (KTIC) predicts that parent-specific alleles can support different behavioural strategies to maximize allele fitness. Previous studies, including in honey bees (Apis mellifera), supported predictions of the KTIC for parent-specific alleles to promote selfish behaviour. Here, we test the KTIC prediction that for altruism-promoting genes (i.e. those that promote behaviours that support the reproductive fitness of kin), the allele with the higher altruism optimum should be selected to be expressed while the other is silenced. In honey bee colonies, workers act altruistically when tending to the queen by performing a 'retinue' behaviour, distributing the queen's mandibular pheromone (QMP) throughout the hive. Workers exposed to QMP do not activate their ovaries, ensuring they care for the queen's brood instead of competing to lay unfertilized eggs. Due to the haplodiploid genetics of honey bees, the KTIC predicts that response to QMP is favoured by the maternal genome. We report evidence for parent-of-origin effects on the retinue response behaviour, ovarian development and gene expression in brains of worker honey bees exposed to QMP, consistent with the KTIC. Additionally, we show enrichment for genes with parent-of-origin expression bias within gene regulatory networks associated with variation in bees' response to QMP. Our study demonstrates that intragenomic conflict can shape diverse social behaviours and influence expression patterns of single genes as well as gene networks.

RevDate: 2023-09-15
CmpDate: 2023-09-14

Twyman KZ, A Gardner (2023)

Kin selection of time travel: the social evolutionary causes and consequences of dormancy.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 290(2006):20231247.

A basic mechanism of kin selection is limited dispersal, whereby individuals remain close to their place of origin such that even indiscriminate social interaction tends to modify the fitness of genealogical kin. Accordingly, the causes and consequences of dispersal have received an enormous amount of attention in the social evolution literature. This work has focused on dispersal of individuals in space, yet similar logic should apply to dispersal of individuals in time (e.g. dormancy). We investigate how kin selection drives the evolution of dormancy and how dormancy modulates the evolution of altruism. We recover dormancy analogues of key results that have previously been given for dispersal, showing that: (1) kin selection favours dormancy as a means of relaxing competition between relatives; (2) when individuals may adjust their dormancy behaviour to local density, they are favoured to do so, resulting in greater dormancy in high-density neighbourhoods and a concomitant 'constant non-dormant principle'; (3) when dormancy is constrained to be independent of density, there is no relationship between the rate of dormancy and the evolutionary potential for altruism; and (4) when dormancy is able to evolve in a density-dependent manner, a greater potential for altruism is expected in populations with lower dormancy.

RevDate: 2023-11-19
CmpDate: 2023-09-07

Roper M, Green JP, Salguero-Gómez R, et al (2023)

Inclusive fitness forces of selection in an age-structured population.

Communications biology, 6(1):909.

Hamilton's force of selection acting against age-specific mortality is constant and maximal prior to the age of first reproduction, before declining to zero at the age of last reproduction. The force of selection acting on age-specific reproduction declines monotonically from birth in a growing or stationary population. Central to these results is the assumption that individuals do not interact with one another. This assumption is violated in social organisms, where an individual's survival and/or reproduction may shape the inclusive fitness of other group members. Yet, it remains unclear how the forces of selection might be modified when inclusive fitness, rather than population growth rate, is considered the appropriate metric for fitness. Here, we derive such inclusive fitness forces of selection, and show that selection on age-specific survival is not always constant before maturity, and can remain above zero in post-reproductive age classes. We also show how the force of selection on age-specific reproduction does not always decline monotonically from birth, but instead depends on the balance of costs and benefits of increasing reproduction to both direct and indirect fitness. Our theoretical framework provides an opportunity to expand our understanding of senescence across social species.

RevDate: 2023-10-11
CmpDate: 2023-10-10

Nonacs P (2023)

Why do Hymenopteran workers drift to non-natal groups? Generalized reciprocity and the maximization of group and parental success.

Journal of evolutionary biology, 36(10):1365-1374.

Eusocial Hymenoptera are often characterized by having facultatively or obligately sterile worker castes. However, findings across an increasing number of species are that some workers are non-natal-they have 'drifted' away from where they were born and raised. Moreover, drifters are often indistinguishable from natal workers in the work and benefits provided to joined groups. This seems an evolutionary paradox of providing benefits to potentially unrelated individuals over close kin. Rather than being mistakes, drifting is proposed to be adaptive if joiners either gain inclusive fitness by preferentially moving to other kin groups or through generalized reciprocity in which exchanging workers across groups raises group-level genetic diversity and creates social heterosis. It is unclear, however, if reciprocity is unlikely because of a susceptibility to cheating. In resolving this question, a series of evolutionary simulations show: (1) Reciprocity can persist under a range of genetic assumptions and scenarios of cheating, (2) cheating almost always evolves, but can be expressed in a variety of ways that are not always predictable, (3) the inclusive fitness hypothesis is equally or more susceptible to cheating. Moreover, existing data in Hymenoptera (although not extensive) are more consistent with generalized reciprocity. This supports a hypothesis that drifting, as a phenomenon, may more often reflect maximization of group and parental fitness rather than fitness gains for the individual drifters.

RevDate: 2023-08-29

Walasek L, GDA Brown (2023)

Incomparability and Incommensurability in Choice: No Common Currency of Value?.

Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science [Epub ahead of print].

Models of decision-making typically assume the existence of some common currency of value, such as utility, happiness, or inclusive fitness. This common currency is taken to allow comparison of options and to underpin everyday choice. Here we suggest instead that there is no universal value scale, that incommensurable values pervade everyday choice, and hence that most existing models of decision-making in both economics and psychology are fundamentally limited. We propose that choice objects can be compared only with reference to specific but nonuniversal "covering values." These covering values may reflect decision-makers' goals, motivations, or current states. A complete model of choice must accommodate the range of possible covering values. We show that abandoning the common-currency assumption in models of judgment and decision-making necessitates rank-based and "simple heuristics" models that contrast radically with conventional utility-based approaches. We note that if there is no universal value scale, then Arrow's impossibility theorem places severe bounds on the rationality of individual decision-making and hence that there is a deep link between the incommensurability of value, inconsistencies in human decision-making, and rank-based coding of value. More generally, incommensurability raises the question of whether it will ever be possible to develop single-quantity-maximizing models of decision-making.

RevDate: 2023-08-29

Zhang K, ZQ Zhang (2023)

A thelytokous predatory mite is more cannibalistic towards distant kin.

Current zoology, 69(5):578-584.

Kin recognition has been widely observed in various taxa. Cannibalism avoidance may be a strong driver for the evolution of kin recognition, as it may avoid a reduction in inclusive fitness. Kin recognition has recently been observed in a generalist phytoseiid, Amblyseius herbicolus (Acari: Phytoseiidae). This study experimentally examined the degree of relatedness needed between prey larvae and cannibal adults of A. herbicolus for the occurrence of kin discrimination. The adults were individually placed in enclosed arenas with two prey, a daughter and a more distant related larva, to observe their cannibalizing choice. The adults of A. herbicolus did not discriminate between close relatives (daughter versus niece) but preferably cannibalized more distant kin (i.e., first and second cousins once removed). Phenotype matching and familiarization seem prominent as recognition mechanisms used by A. herbicolus adults. The effect of learning on kin recognition through prior contact in A. herbicolus requires further investigation. Studies on other adaptive functions of kin recognition of A. herbicolus, such as cooperation and parental care, may provide meaningful insights.

RevDate: 2023-09-14
CmpDate: 2023-08-24

Úbeda F, G Wild (2023)

Microchimerism as a source of information on future pregnancies.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 290(2005):20231142.

Small numbers of fetal cells cross the placenta during pregnancy turning mothers into microchimeras. Fetal cells from all previous pregnancies accumulate forming the mother's fetal microchiome. What is significant about microchimeric cells is that they have been linked to health problems including reproductive and autoimmune diseases. Three decades after the discovery of fetal microchimerism, the function of these cells remains a mystery. Here, we contend that the role of microchimeric cells is to inform the fetus about the likelihood that its genes are present in future pregnancies. We argue that, when genes are more likely than average to be in future maternal siblings, fetuses will send a fixed number of cells that will not elicit a maternal immune response against them. However, when genes are less likely to be in future maternal siblings, fetuses will send an ever-increasing number of cells that will elicit an ever-stronger maternal immune response. Our work can explain the observed clinical association between microchimeric cells and pre-eclampsia. However, our work predicts that this association should be stronger in women with a genetically diverse microchiome. If supported by medical tests, our work would allow establishing the likelihood of pregnancy or autoimmune problems advising medical interventions.

RevDate: 2023-08-18

He QQ, Rui JW, Zhang L, et al (2022)

Communal breeding by women is associated with lower investment from husbands.

Evolutionary human sciences, 4:e50.

According to Hamilton's rule, matrilineal-biased investment restrains men in matrilineal societies from maximising their inclusive fitness (the 'matrilineal puzzle'). A recent hypothesis argues that when women breed communally and share household resources, a man should help his sisters' household, rather than his wife's household, as investment to the later but not the former would be diluted by other unrelated members (Wu et al., 2013). According to this hypothesis, a man is less likely to help on his wife's farm when there are more women reproducing in the wife's household, because on average he would be less related to his wife's household. We used a farm-work observational dataset, that we collected in the matrilineal Mosuo in southwest China, to test this hypothesis. As predicted, high levels of communal breeding by women in his wife's households do predict less effort spent by men on their wife's farm, and communal breeding in men's natal households do not affect whether men help on their natal farms. Thus, communal breeding by women dilutes the inclusive fitness benefits men receive from investment to their wife and children, and may drive the evolution of matrilineal-biased investment by men. These results can help solve the 'matrilineal puzzle'.

RevDate: 2023-11-11
CmpDate: 2023-11-07

Couto A, Marty S, Dawson EH, et al (2023)

Evolution of the neuronal substrate for kin recognition in social Hymenoptera.

Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 98(6):2226-2242.

In evolutionary terms, life is about reproduction. Yet, in some species, individuals forgo their own reproduction to support the reproductive efforts of others. Social insect colonies for example, can contain up to a million workers that actively cooperate in tasks such as foraging, brood care and nest defence, but do not produce offspring. In such societies the division of labour is pronounced, and reproduction is restricted to just one or a few individuals, most notably the queen(s). This extreme eusocial organisation exists in only a few mammals, crustaceans and insects, but strikingly, it evolved independently up to nine times in the order Hymenoptera (including ants, bees and wasps). Transitions from a solitary lifestyle to an organised society can occur through natural selection when helpers obtain a fitness benefit from cooperating with kin, owing to the indirect transmission of genes through siblings. However, this process, called kin selection, is vulnerable to parasitism and opportunistic behaviours from unrelated individuals. An ability to distinguish kin from non-kin, and to respond accordingly, could therefore critically facilitate the evolution of eusociality and the maintenance of non-reproductive workers. The question of how the hymenopteran brain has adapted to support this function is therefore a fundamental issue in evolutionary neuroethology. Early neuroanatomical investigations proposed that social Hymenoptera have expanded integrative brain areas due to selection for increased cognitive capabilities in the context of processing social information. Later studies challenged this assumption and instead pointed to an intimate link between higher social organisation and the existence of developed sensory structures involved in recognition and communication. In particular, chemical signalling of social identity, known to be mediated through cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs), may have evolved hand in hand with a specialised chemosensory system in Hymenoptera. Here, we compile the current knowledge on this recognition system, from emitted identity signals, to the molecular and neuronal basis of chemical detection, with particular emphasis on its evolutionary history. Finally, we ask whether the evolution of social behaviour in Hymenoptera could have driven the expansion of their complex olfactory system, or whether the early origin and conservation of an olfactory subsystem dedicated to social recognition could explain the abundance of eusocial species in this insect order. Answering this question will require further comparative studies to provide a comprehensive view on lineage-specific adaptations in the olfactory pathway of Hymenoptera.

RevDate: 2023-09-19

Capp JP, Thomas F, Marusyk A, et al (2023)

The paradox of cooperation among selfish cancer cells.

Evolutionary applications, 16(7):1239-1256.

It is traditionally assumed that during cancer development, tumor cells abort their initially cooperative behavior (i.e., cheat) in favor of evolutionary strategies designed solely to enhance their own fitness (i.e., a "selfish" life style) at the expense of that of the multicellular organism. However, the growth and progress of solid tumors can also involve cooperation among these presumed selfish cells (which, by definition, should be noncooperative) and with stromal cells. The ultimate and proximate reasons behind this paradox are not fully understood. Here, in the light of current theories on the evolution of cooperation, we discuss the possible evolutionary mechanisms that could explain the apparent cooperative behaviors among selfish malignant cells. In addition to the most classical explanations for cooperation in cancer and in general (by-product mutualism, kin selection, direct reciprocity, indirect reciprocity, network reciprocity, group selection), we propose the idea that "greenbeard" effects are relevant to explaining some cooperative behaviors in cancer. Also, we discuss the possibility that malignant cooperative cells express or co-opt cooperative traits normally expressed by healthy cells. We provide examples where considerations of these processes could help understand tumorigenesis and metastasis and argue that this framework provides novel insights into cancer biology and potential strategies for cancer prevention and treatment.

RevDate: 2023-07-22

Catitti B, Kormann UG, van Bergen VS, et al (2023)

Turning tables: food availability shapes dynamic aggressive behaviour among asynchronously hatching siblings in red kites Milvus milvus.

Royal Society open science, 10(7):230328.

Aggression represents the backbone of dominance acquisition in several animal societies, where the decision to interact is dictated by its relative cost. Among siblings, such costs are weighted in the light of inclusive fitness, but how this translates to aggression patterns in response to changing external and internal conditions remains unclear. Using a null-model-based approach, we investigate how day-to-day changes in food provisioning affect aggression networks and food allocation in growing red kite (Milvus milvus) nestlings, whose dominance rank is largely dictated by age. We show that older siblings, irrespective of age, change from targeting only close-aged peers (close-competitor pattern) when food provisioning is low, to uniformly attacking all other peers (downward heuristic pattern) as food conditions improve. While food allocation was generally skewed towards the older siblings, the youngest sibling in the nest increased its probability of accessing food as more was provisioned and as downward heuristic patterns became more prominent, suggesting that different aggression patterns allow for catch-up growth after periods of low food. Our results indicate that dynamic aggression patterns within the nest modulate environmental effects on juvenile development by influencing the process of dominance acquisition and potentially impacting the fledging body condition, with far-reaching fitness consequences.

RevDate: 2023-10-05
CmpDate: 2023-10-05

Prigent I, C Mullon (2023)

The molding of intraspecific trait variation by selection under ecological inheritance.

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution, 77(10):2144-2161.

Organisms continuously modify their environment, often impacting the fitness of future conspecifics due to ecological inheritance. When this inheritance is biased toward kin, selection favors modifications that increase the fitness of downstream individuals. How such selection shapes trait variation within populations remains poorly understood. Using mathematical modelling, we investigate the coevolution of multiple traits in a group-structured population when these traits affect the group environment, which is then bequeathed to future generations. We examine when such coevolution favors polymorphism as well as the resulting associations among traits. We find in particular that two traits become associated when one trait affects the environment while the other influences the likelihood that future kin experience this environment. To illustrate this, we model the coevolution of (a) the attack rate on a local renewable resource, which deteriorates environmental conditions, with (b) dispersal between groups, which reduces the likelihood that kin suffers from such deterioration. We show this often leads to the emergence of two highly differentiated morphs: one that readily disperses and depletes local resources, and another that maintains these resources and tends to remain philopatric. More broadly, we suggest that ecological inheritance can contribute to phenotypic diversity and lead to complex polymorphism.

RevDate: 2023-08-02

Tasaki E, Mitaka Y, Takahashi Y, et al (2023)

The royal food of termites shows king and queen specificity.

PNAS nexus, 2(7):pgad222.

Society in eusocial insects is based on the reproductive division of labor, with a small number of reproductive individuals supported by a large number of nonreproductive individuals. Because inclusive fitness of all colony members depends on the survival and fertility of reproductive members, sterile members provide royals with special treatment. Here, we show that termite kings and queens each receive special food of a different composition from workers. Sequential analysis of feeding processes demonstrated that workers exhibit discriminative trophallaxis, indicating their decision-making capacity in allocating food to the kings and queens. Liquid chromatography tandem-mass spectrometry analyses of the stomodeal food and midgut contents revealed king- and queen-specific compounds, including diacylglycerols and short-chain peptides. Desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry imaging analyses of [13]C-labeled termites identified phosphatidylinositol and acetyl-l-carnitine in the royal food. Comparison of the digestive tract structure showed remarkable differences in the volume ratio of the midgut-to-hindgut among castes, indicating that digestive division of labor underlies reproductive division of labor. Our demonstration of king- and queen-specific foods in termites provides insight into the nutritional system that underpins the extraordinary reproduction and longevity of royals in eusocial insects.

RevDate: 2023-11-19
CmpDate: 2023-07-17

Green JP, Franco C, Davidson AJ, et al (2023)

Cryptic kin discrimination during communal lactation in mice favours cooperation between relatives.

Communications biology, 6(1):734.

Breeding females can cooperate by rearing their offspring communally, sharing synergistic benefits of offspring care but risking exploitation by partners. In lactating mammals, communal rearing occurs mostly among close relatives. Inclusive fitness theory predicts enhanced cooperation between related partners and greater willingness to compensate for any partner under-investment, while females are less likely to bias investment towards own offspring. We use a dual isotopic tracer approach to track individual milk allocation when familiar pairs of sisters or unrelated house mice reared offspring communally. Closely related pairs show lower energy demand and pups experience better access to non-maternal milk. Lactational investment is more skewed between sister partners but females pay greater energetic costs per own offspring reared with an unrelated partner. The choice of close kin as cooperative partners is strongly favoured by these direct as well as indirect benefits, providing a driver to maintain female kin groups for communal breeding.

RevDate: 2023-10-12
CmpDate: 2023-09-18

Achorn A, Lindshield S, Ndiaye PI, et al (2023)

Reciprocity and beyond: Explaining meat transfers in savanna-dwelling chimpanzees at Fongoli, Senegal.

American journal of biological anthropology, 182(2):224-236.

OBJECTIVES: To understand the function of food sharing among our early hominin ancestors, we can turn to our nonhuman primate relatives for insight. Here, we examined the function of meat sharing by Fongoli chimpanzees, a community of western chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) in southeastern Sénégal.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We tested three non-mutually exclusive hypotheses that have been used to explain patterns of food sharing: kin selection, generalized reciprocity, and meat-for-mating opportunities. We analyzed meat sharing events (n = 484) resulting from hunts, along with data on copulations, age-sex class, and kinship to determine which variables predict the likelihood of meat sharing during this study period (2006-2019).

RESULTS: We found full or partial support for kin selection, direct reciprocity, and meat-for-mating-opportunities. However, the analyses reveal that reciprocity and a mother/offspring relationship were the strongest predictors of whether or not an individual shared meat.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study emphasize the complexity of chimpanzee meat sharing behaviors, especially at a site where social tolerance offers increased opportunities for meat sharing by individuals other than dominant males. These findings can be placed in a referential model to inform hypotheses about the sensitivity of food sharing to environmental pressures, such as resource scarcity in savanna landscapes.

RevDate: 2024-02-14

Bose APH, Dabernig-Heinz J, Oberkofler J, et al (2023)

Aggression and spatial positioning of kin and non-kin fish in social groups.

Behavioral ecology : official journal of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology, 34(4):673-681.

Group-living animals are faced with the challenge of sharing space and local resources amongst group members who may be either relatives or non-relatives. Individuals may reduce the inclusive fitness costs they incur from competing with relatives by either reducing their levels of aggression toward kin, or by maintaining physical separation between kin. In this field study, we used the group-living cichlid Neolamprologus multifasciatus to examine whether within-group aggression is reduced among group members that are kin, and whether kin occupy different regions of their group's territory to reduce kin competition over space and local resources. We determined the kinship relationships among cohabiting adults via microsatellite genotyping and then combined these with spatial and behavioral analyses of groups in the wild. We found that aggressive contests between group members declined in frequency with spatial separation between their shelters. Female kin did not engage in aggressive contests with one another, whereas non-kin females did, despite the fact these females lived at similar distances from one another on their groups' territories. Contests within male-male and male-female dyads did not clearly correlate with kinship. Non-kin male-male and male-female dyads lived at more variable distances from one another on their territories than their corresponding kin dyads. Together, our study indicates that contests among group members can be mediated by relatedness in a sex-dependent manner. We also suggest that spatial relationships can play an important role in determining the extent to which group members compete with one another.

RevDate: 2023-07-01

Micheletti AJC, Ge E, Zhou L, et al (2023)

Correction to: 'Religious celibacy brings inclusive fitness benefits' (2022) by Micheletti et al.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 290(2001):20231299.

RevDate: 2023-11-06
CmpDate: 2023-06-22

Micheletti AJC, Ge E, Zhou L, et al (2023)

Studying human culture with small datasets and evolutionary models.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 290(2001):20230753.

RevDate: 2023-07-01
CmpDate: 2023-06-22

von Pein LI, Harper KT, BP Zietsch (2023)

No evidence that religious celibacy confers inclusive fitness benefits: a comment on: 'Studying human culture with small datasets and evolutionary models' Micheletti et al. (2022).

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 290(2001):20230176.

RevDate: 2023-07-21
CmpDate: 2023-07-21

Pettay JE, Danielsbacka M, Helle S, et al (2023)

Parental Investment by Birth Fathers and Stepfathers : Roles of Mating Effort and Childhood Co-residence Duration.

Human nature (Hawthorne, N.Y.), 34(2):276-294.

This study investigates the determinants of paternal investment by birth fathers and stepfathers. Inclusive fitness theory predicts higher parental investment in birth children than stepchildren, and this has consistently been found in previous studies. Here we investigate whether paternal investment varies with childhood co-residence duration and differs between stepfathers and divorced birth fathers by comparing the investment of (1) stepfathers, (2) birth fathers who are separated from the child's mother, and (3) birth fathers who still are in a relationship with her. Path analysis was conducted using cross-sectional data from adolescents and younger adults (aged 17-19, 27-29, and 37-39 years) from the German Family Panel (pairfam), collected in 2010-2011 (n = 8326). As proxies of paternal investment, we used financial and practical help, emotional support, intimacy, and emotional closeness, as reported by the children. We found that birth fathers who were still in a relationship with the mother invested the most, and stepfathers invested the least. Furthermore, the investment of both separated fathers and stepfathers increased with the duration of co-residence with the child. However, in the case of financial help and intimacy, the effect of childhood co-residence duration was stronger in stepfathers than in separated fathers. Our findings support inclusive fitness theory and mating effort theory in explaining social behavior and family dynamics in this population. Furthermore, social environment, such as childhood co-residence was associated with paternal investment.

RevDate: 2023-07-18
CmpDate: 2023-07-07

Hu DZ, Gómez Jiménez FR, DP VanderLaan (2023)

A Test of the Kin Selection Hypothesis for Female Gynephilia in Thailand.

Archives of sexual behavior, 52(5):2153-2161.

Female gynephilia (i.e., sexual attraction to adult females) is considered an evolutionary paradox because it reduces direct reproduction, yet it is influenced by genetic factors and has persisted over time and across different cultures. The Kin Selection Hypothesis proposes that same-sex attracted individuals offset their lowered direct reproduction by engaging in kin-directed altruism that increases the reproduction of close genetic relatives, thereby enhancing inclusive fitness. Previous research on male same-sex attraction found evidence to support this hypothesis in some cultures. The present study employed a Thai sample to compare altruistic tendencies towards kin and non-kin children in heterosexual women (n = 285), lesbian women (n = 59), toms (i.e., masculine gynephilic females who take on a nonbinary gender identity; n = 181), and dees (i.e., feminine gynephilic females who are attracted to toms; n = 154). The Kin Selection Hypothesis of same-sex attraction predicts that gynephilic groups would show increased kin-directed altruism compared with heterosexual women, but we did not find evidence supporting this prediction. Instead, the tendency to invest more towards kin than non-kin children was more exaggerated in heterosexual women than lesbian women. Also, heterosexual women showed greater dissociation between kin and non-kin altruistic tendencies compared with toms and dees, which may suggest the former's cognition is better attuned for kin-directed altruism. Thus, the present findings were contrary to the Kin Selection Hypothesis for female gynephilia. Alternative explanations regarding the maintenance of genetic factors predisposing individuals to female gynephilia are discussed and require further investigation.

RevDate: 2023-05-31

Choi J, Lee S, Kim H, et al (2023)

The role of recognition error in the stability of green-beard genes.

Evolution letters, 7(3):157-167.

The empirical examples of the green-beard genes, once a conundrum of evolutionary biology, are accumulating, while theoretical analyses of this topic are occasional compared to those concerning (narrow-sense) kin selection. In particular, the recognition error of the green-beard effect that the cooperator fails to accurately recognize the other cooperators or defectors is readily found in numerous green-beard genes. To our knowledge, however, no model up to date has taken that effect into account. In this article, we investigated the effect of recognition error on the fitness of the green-beard gene. By employing theories of evolutionary games, our mathematical model predicts that the fitness of the green-beard gene is frequency dependent (frequency of the green-beard gene), which was corroborated by experiments performed with yeast FLO1. The experiment also shows that the cells with the green-beard gene (FLO1) are sturdier under severe stress. We conclude that the low recognition error among the cooperators, the higher reward of cooperation, and the higher cost of defection confer an advantage to the green-beard gene under certain conditions, confirmed by numerical simulation as well. Interestingly, we expect that the recognition error to the defectors may promote the cooperator fitness if the cooperator frequency is low and mutual defection is detrimental. Our ternary approach of mathematical analysis, experiments, and simulation lays the groundwork of the standard model for the green-beard gene that can be generalized to other species.

RevDate: 2023-08-18
CmpDate: 2023-05-19

Antfolk J, Marklund E, Nylund I, et al (2023)

No Signs of Inclusive Fitness or Reciprocal Altruism in Advantageous Inequity Aversion.

Evolutionary psychology : an international journal of evolutionary approaches to psychology and behavior, 21(2):14747049231173401.

Advantageous inequity aversion (i.e., the tendency to respond negatively to unfairness that benefits oneself) usually develops in 6-8-year-olds. However, little is known about the selection pressures that might have shaped this phenomenon. Using data collected from 120 4-8-year-old Finnish children, we tested two evolutionary explanations for the development of advantageous inequity aversion: reciprocal altruism (i.e., benefiting from sharing when the roles are likely reversed in the future) and inclusive fitness (i.e., benefiting from sharing with biological relatives that carry the same alleles). We first successfully replicated a previous experiment, showing that 6-8-year-olds display advantageous inequity aversion by preferring to throw away a resource rather than keep it for themselves. Here, this behavior was also displayed in 5-year-olds. Using a novel experiment, we then asked children to distribute five erasers between themselves, a sibling, a peer, and a stranger. That is, an equal distribution was only possible if throwing away one eraser. We found no support for advantageous inequity aversion being shaped by either inclusive fitness or reciprocal altruism. Future studies could investigate costly signaling and adherence to social norms to avoid negative consequences as ultimate explanations for advantageous inequity aversion.

RevDate: 2023-05-19

Helanterä H, Ozan M, L Sundström (2023)

Relatedness modulates reproductive competition among queens in ant societies with multiple queens.

Behavioral ecology : official journal of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology, 34(3):340-345.

Reproductive sharing in animal groups with multiple breeders, insects and vertebrates alike, contains elements of both conflict and cooperation, and depends on both relatedness between co-breeders, as well as their internal and external conditions. We studied how queens of the ant Formica fusca adjust their reproductive efforts in response to experimental manipulations of the kin competition regime in their nest. Queens respond to the presence of competitors by increasing their egg laying efforts, but only if the competitors are highly fecund and distantly related. Such a mechanism is likely to decrease harmful competition among close relatives. We demonstrate that queens of Formica fusca fine-tune their cooperative breeding behaviors in response to kinship and fecundity of others in a remarkably precise and flexible manner.

RevDate: 2023-11-16
CmpDate: 2023-05-17

Riehl C, JB LaPergola (2023)

Inclusive fitness explains behavioral diversity in a social bird.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 120(21):e2305610120.

RevDate: 2023-06-09
CmpDate: 2023-05-11

Tanskanen AO, Helle S, M Danielsbacka (2023)

Differential grandparental investment when maternal grandmothers are living versus deceased.

Biology letters, 19(5):20230061.

Grandparents can increase their inclusive fitness by investing time and resources in their grandchildren. However, not all grandparents make such investments equally, and between-grandparent differences in this regard can be predicted based on paternity uncertainty, lineage and grandparents' sex. Using population-based data for English and Welsh adolescents (n = 1430), we examined whether the death of the most important grandparent (in terms of investment), the maternal grandmother (MGM), changes relative support for existing hypotheses predicting differential grandparental-investment patterns. To contrast the predictions of the grandparental investment hypotheses, we used generalized order-restricted information criterion approximation. We consequently found that, when MGMs are alive, the most-supported hypothesis is 'discriminative grandparental solicitude', which ranks grandparental investment as MGMs > maternal grandfathers (MGFs) > paternal grandmothers (PGMs) > paternal grandfathers (PGFs). However, when MGMs are deceased, the paternity uncertainty hypothesis (MGFs = PGMs > PGFs) receives the most support; this is due to increased investment by PGMs. Thus, when the heaviest investors (i.e. MGMs) are deceased, PGM investments are closer to-but do not exceed-MGF investments.

RevDate: 2023-06-08
CmpDate: 2023-05-08

Gussone L, Hüllen A, Vitt S, et al (2023)

Impact of genetic relatedness on reproductive behavior in Pelvicachromis pulcher, a biparental cichlid fish with mutual mate choice and ornamentation.

Die Naturwissenschaften, 110(3):17.

Inbreeding can result in inbreeding depression. Therefore, many species seek to avoid inbreeding. However, theory predicts that inbreeding can be beneficial. Accordingly, some species tolerate inbreeding or even prefer mating with close relatives. Evidence for active inbreeding, i.e., kin-mating preference was reported in the biparental African cichlid fish Pelvicachromis taeniatus. Related mating partners revealed better parental cooperation due to kin selection, a potential benefit of inbreeding. In this study, we investigated kin-mating preference in a genetically diverse, outbred F2-lab population of Pelvicachromis pulcher, a closely related species to P. taeniatus. Like P. taeniatus, this species shows mutual ornamentation and mate choice as well as intense biparental brood care. The F1 P. pulcher generation had revealed signs of inbreeding depression but no inbreeding avoidance. We studied mating behavior and aggression in trios consisting of a male P. pulcher, an unfamiliar sister, and an unfamiliar, unrelated female. Because the study focused on kin-mating patterns, female pairs were matched for body size and coloration. The results provide no evidence for inbreeding avoidance but rather suggest inbreeding preference. We also found no significant impact of inbreeding on offspring survival. The results suggest no inbreeding avoidance in P. pulcher; however, the strength of inbreeding preference and inbreeding depression seems to be variable. We discuss possible causes for this variation like context-dependent inbreeding depression. The number of eggs positively correlated with female body size and coloration. Furthermore, the female aggressiveness was positively correlated with female coloration indicating that coloration signal female dominance and quality.

RevDate: 2023-11-02
CmpDate: 2023-05-03

Koenig WD, Barve S, Haydock J, et al (2023)

Lifetime inclusive fitness effects of cooperative polygamy in the acorn woodpecker.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 120(19):e2219345120.

Although over 50 y have passed since W. D. Hamilton articulated kin selection and inclusive fitness as evolutionary explanations for altruistic behavior, quantifying inclusive fitness continues to be challenging. Here, using 30 y of data and two alternative methods, we outline an approach to measure lifetime inclusive fitness effects of cooperative polygamy (mate-sharing or cobreeding) in the cooperatively breeding acorn woodpecker Melanerpes formicivorus. For both sexes, the number of offspring (observed direct fitness) declined while the number of young parented by related cobreeders (observed indirect fitness effect) increased with cobreeding coalition size. Combining these two factors, the observed inclusive fitness effect of cobreeding was greater than breeding singly for males, while the pattern for females depended on whether fitness was age-weighted, as females breeding singly accrued greater fitness at younger ages than cobreeding females. Accounting for the fitness birds would have obtained by breeding singly, however, lifetime inclusive fitness effects declined with coalition size for males, but were greater for females breeding as duos compared to breeding singly, due largely to indirect fitness effects of kin. Our analyses provide a road map for, and demonstrate the importance of, quantifying indirect fitness as a powerful evolutionary force contributing to the costs and benefits of social behaviors.

RevDate: 2023-10-25
CmpDate: 2023-04-26

Shah SS, DR Rubenstein (2023)

Group augmentation underlies the evolution of complex sociality in the face of environmental instability.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 120(18):e2212211120.

Although kin selection is assumed to underlie the evolution of sociality, many vertebrates-including nearly half of all cooperatively breeding birds-form groups that also include unrelated individuals. Theory predicts that despite reducing kin structure, immigration of unrelated individuals into groups can provide direct, group augmentation benefits, particularly when offspring recruitment is insufficient for group persistence. Using population dynamic modeling and analysis of long-term data, we provide clear empirical evidence of group augmentation benefits favoring the evolution and maintenance of complex societies with low kin structure and multiple reproductives. We show that in the superb starling (Lamprotornis superbus)-a plural cooperative breeder that forms large groups with multiple breeding pairs, and related and unrelated nonbreeders of both sexes-offspring recruitment alone cannot prevent group extinction, especially in smaller groups. Further, smaller groups, which stand to benefit more from immigration, exhibit lower reproductive skew for immigrants, suggesting that reproductive opportunities as joining incentives lead to plural breeding. Yet, despite a greater likelihood of becoming a breeder in smaller groups, immigrants are more likely to join larger groups where they experience increased survivorship and greater reproductive success as breeders. Moreover, immigrants form additional breeding pairs, increasing future offspring recruitment into the group and guarding against complete reproductive failure in the face of environmental instability and high nest predation. Thus, plural breeding likely evolves because the benefits of group augmentation by immigrants generate a positive feedback loop that maintains societies with low and mixed kinship, large group sizes, and multiple reproductives.

RevDate: 2023-04-25

Guo Y, Grueter CC, J Lu (2023)

Allomaternal care and 'adoption' in an edge-of-range population of Taihangshan macaques in Northern China.

Current zoology, 69(2):215-218.

RevDate: 2024-04-01
CmpDate: 2023-05-26

van Dokkum NH, Fagan LJ, Cullen M, et al (2023)

Assessing HeartSong as a Neonatal Music Therapy Intervention: A Qualitative Study on Personal and Professional Caregivers' Perspectives.

Advances in neonatal care : official journal of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses, 23(3):264-271.

BACKGROUND: The music therapy HeartSong intervention pairs newborn infant heartbeats with parents' Song of Kin. Formal evidence on professional and personal caregiver perspectives of this intervention is lacking.

PURPOSE: This survey study evaluates the HeartSong music therapy intervention from parent and staff perspectives.

METHODS: A qualitative study assessing inclusion of HeartSong for family neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) care surveyed 10 professional caregivers comprising medical and psychosocial NICU teams anonymously reflecting their impressions of the intervention. Digital survey of parents/guardians contacted through semistructured phone interviews relayed impressions of recordings: subsequent setup, Song of Kin selection, and use of HeartSong, including thoughts/feelings about it as an intervention.

RESULTS: Professional and personal caregivers valued the HeartSong intervention for bereavement support, family support, including parental, extended family/infant support, and to enhance bonding. Emergent themes: memory-making, connectedness/closeness, support of parent role, processing mental health needs of stressful NICU days, and subsequent plans for lifelong HeartSong use. Therapeutic experience was named as a crucial intervention aspect and participants recommended the HeartSong as a viable, accessible NICU intervention.

HeartSong's use showed efficacy as a clinical NICU music therapy intervention for families of critically ill and extremely preterm infants, when provided by trained, specialized, board-certified music therapists. Future research focusing on HeartSong in other NICU populations might benefit infants with cardiac disease, parental stress, and anxiety attending to parent-infant bonding. Costs and time benefits related to investment are needed before implementation is considered.

RevDate: 2023-05-19
CmpDate: 2023-04-20

Fuirst M, Strickland D, Freeman NE, et al (2023)

Early-life sibling conflict in Canada jays has lifetime fitness consequences.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 290(1997):20221863.

While delaying natal dispersal can provide short-term benefits for juveniles, lifetime fitness consequences are rarely assessed. Furthermore, competition for limited positions on a natal territory could impose an indirect fitness cost on the winner if the outcome has negative effects on its siblings. We use radio-tracking and 58 years of nesting data in Ontario, Canada to examine the lifetime fitness consequences of sibling expulsion in the Canada jay (Perisoreus canadensis). Six weeks after fledging, intra-brood dominance struggles result in one 'dominant juvenile' (DJ) remaining on the natal territory after expelling its subordinate siblings, the 'ejectees' (EJs). Despite an older age-at-first-reproduction, DJs produced more recruits over their lifetime and had higher first-year survival than EJs, leading to substantially higher direct fitness. Even though DJs incurred an indirect fitness cost by expelling their siblings and there was no evidence that their presence on the natal territory increased their parents' reproductive output the following year, they still had substantially higher inclusive fitness than EJs. Our results demonstrate how early-life sibling conflict can have lifetime consequences and that such fitness differences in Canada jays are driven by the enhanced first-year survival of DJs pursuant to the early-summer expulsion of their sibling competitors.

RevDate: 2023-04-19

Knorr DA, M Fox (2023)

An evolutionary perspective on the association between grandmother-mother relationships and maternal mental health among a cohort of pregnant Latina women.

Evolution and human behavior : official journal of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, 44(1):30-38.

Grandmothers are often critical helpers during a mother's reproductive career. Studies on the developmental origins of health and disease demonstrate how maternal psychological distress can negatively influence fetal development and birth outcomes, highlighting an area in which soon-to-be grandmothers (henceforth "grandmothers") can invest to improve both mother and offspring well-being. Here, we examine if and how a pregnant woman's mental health- specifically, depression, state-anxiety, and pregnancy-related anxiety- is influenced by her relationship with her fetus' maternal and paternal grandmother, controlling for relationship characteristics with her fetus' father. In a cohort of pregnant Latina women in Southern California (N = 216), we assessed social support, geographic proximity, and communication between the fetus' grandmothers and pregnant mother. We assessed maternal mental health with validated questionnaire-based instruments. We find that both social support from and communication with the maternal grandmother were statistically associated with less depression, while no paternal grandmother relationship characteristics were statistically significant in association with any mental health variable. These results align with the idea that maternal grandmothers are more adaptively incentivized to invest in their daughters' well-being during pregnancy than paternal grandmothers are for their daughters-in-law. Results suggest that the positive association of maternal grandmothers with mothers' mental health may not hinge on geographic proximity, but rather, potentially function through emotional support. This work represents a novel perspective describing a psychological and prenatal grandmaternal effect.

RevDate: 2023-04-15
CmpDate: 2023-04-14

Jones CT, Meynell L, Neto C, et al (2023)

The role of the ecological scaffold in the origin and maintenance of whole-group trait altruism in microbial populations.

BMC ecology and evolution, 23(1):11.

BACKGROUND: Kin and multilevel selection provide explanations for the existence of altruism based on traits or processes that enhance the inclusive fitness of an altruist individual. Kin selection is often based on individual-level traits, such as the ability to recognize other altruists, whereas multilevel selection requires a metapopulation structure and dispersal process. These theories are unified by the general principle that altruism can be fixed by positive selection provided the benefit of altruism is preferentially conferred to other altruists. Here we take a different explanatory approach based on the recently proposed concept of an "ecological scaffold". We demonstrate that ecological conditions consisting of a patchy nutrient supply that generates a metapopulation structure, episodic mixing of groups, and severe nutrient limitation, can support or "scaffold" the evolution of altruism in a population of microbes by amplifying drift. This contrasts with recent papers in which the ecological scaffold was shown to support selective processes and demonstrates the power of scaffolding even in the absence of selection.

RESULTS: Using computer simulations motivated by a simple theoretical model, we show that, although an altruistic mutant can be fixed within a single population of non-altruists by drift when nutrients are severely limited, the resulting altruistic population remains vulnerable to non-altruistic mutants. We then show how the imposition of the "ecological scaffold" onto a population of non-altruists alters the balance between selection and drift in a way that supports the fixation and subsequent persistence of altruism despite the possibility of invasion by non-altruists.

CONCLUSIONS: The fixation of an altruistic mutant by drift is possible when supported by ecological conditions that impose a metapopulation structure, episodic mixing of groups, and severe nutrient limitation. This is significant because it offers an alternative explanation for the evolution of altruism based on drift rather than selection. Given the ubiquity of low-nutrient "oligotrophic" environments in which microbes exist (e.g., the open ocean, deep subsurface soils, or under the polar ice caps) our results suggest that altruistic and cooperative behaviors may be highly prevalent among microbial populations.

RevDate: 2023-05-17
CmpDate: 2023-05-17

Nautiyal H, Tanaka H, MA Huffman (2023)

Anti-predator strategies of adult male Central Himalayan Langurs (Semnopithecus schistaceus) in response to domestic dogs in a human-dominated landscape.

Primates; journal of primatology, 64(3):361-379.

The evolution of predator-prey relationships is an important topic in primatology. Many aspects of primate society have been explained as a response to predation pressure. While predation has been discussed in broad theoretical terms, few systematically collected data exist on the subject. Furthermore, little information exists regarding the inter-male variation in responses to predators. To address this data gap, predatory dog-primate interactions were studied in a 78-member group of habituated, individually recognized Central Himalayan Langurs (CHL) (Semnopithecus schistaceus) living in a high-altitude subsistence agricultural landscape of northern India. We recorded 312 langur-dog interactions over 2 years. These predation events resulted in 15 serious attacks on adult females, infants, juveniles and sub-adults, in eight of which the prey was killed and consumed on the spot. In response to dog predation, adult males performed three types of anti-predator response behaviors: direct fighting with a predator, emitting alarm calls, fleeing and/or freezing. Differences were noted in each male's response to village dogs. The results showed that the likelihood of CHL adult males engaging in more costly counterattacks or attention getting alarm calls were better predicted by the level of investment in the group (genetic relatedness, duration of residency, social relationships), but not rank and mating rate. Long-duration resident adult males performed high and/or intermediate cost behaviors to protect vulnerable members of the group; their potential offspring, maternal siblings or cousins, and adult female social partners. Short-term residents or recent immigrant males exhibited two less energetically costly, more self-preserving behaviors, depending on their rank: (1) high-ranking short-tenure duration males, with high mating frequencies, performed flee and freeze responses; (2) low-ranking, low-mating-frequency males performed more alarm calls. Counterattacks and alarm calls were performed by adult males with relatively more experience with village dogs and were directed towards dogs with predatory histories significantly more often than dogs with non-predatory histories. Natural selection and kin selection have both contributed to the evolution of CHL anti-predator tactics.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Li Z, Da X, X Lu (2023)

Complementary interactions between indirect and direct fitness in a cooperatively breeding bird.

Current zoology, 69(1):76-81.

Altruism is difficult to explain evolutionarily and to understand it, there is a need to quantify the benefits and costs to altruists. Hamilton's theory of kin selection argues that altruism can persist if the costs to altruists are offset by indirect fitness payoffs from helping related recipients. Nevertheless, helping nonkin is also common and in such situations, the costs must be compensated for by direct benefits. While previous researchers tended to evaluate the indirect and direct fitness in isolation, we expect that they have a complementary interaction where altruists are associated with recipients of different relatedness within a population. The prediction is tested with 12 years of data on lifetime reproductive success for a cooperatively breeding bird, Tibetan ground tits Pseudopodoces humilis. Helpers who helped distantly related recipients gained significantly lower indirect benefits than those who helped closely related recipients, but the opposite was true for direct fitness, thereby making these helpers have an equal inclusive fitness. Helping efforts were independent of helpers' relatedness to recipients, but those helping distantly related recipients were more likely to inherit the resident territory, which could be responsible for their high direct reproductive success. Our findings provide an explanatory model for the widespread coexistence of altruists and recipients with varying relatedness within a single population.

RevDate: 2023-05-31
CmpDate: 2023-04-14

Wild G, Flear VJ, GJ Thompson (2023)

A kin-selection model of fairness in heterogeneous populations.

Journal of theoretical biology, 565:111469.

Humans and other primates exhibit pro-social preferences for fairness. These preferences are thought to be reinforced by strong reciprocity, a policy that rewards fair actors and punishes unfair ones. Theories of fairness based on strong reciprocity have been criticized for overlooking the importance of individual differences in socially heterogeneous populations. Here, we explore the evolution of fairness in a heterogeneous population. We analyse the Ultimatum Game in cases where players' roles in the game are determined by their status. Importantly, our model allows for non-random pairing of players, and so we also explore the role played by kin selection in shaping fairness. Our kin-selection model shows that, when individuals condition their behaviour on their role in the game, fairness can be understood as either altruistic or spiteful. Altruistic fairness directs resources from less valuable members of a genetic lineage to more valuable members of the same lineage, whereas spiteful fairness keeps resources away from the competitors of the actor's high-value relatives. When individuals express fairness unconditionally it can be understood as altruistic or selfish. When it is altruistic, unconditional fairness again serves to direct resources to high-value members of genetic lineages. When it is selfish, unconditional fairness simply improves an individual's own standing. Overall, we expand kin-selection based explanations for fairness to include motivations other than spite. We show, therefore, that one need not invoke strong reciprocity to explain the advantage of fairness in heterogeneous populations.

RevDate: 2023-04-24
CmpDate: 2023-03-21

Lehtonen J, J Otsuka (2023)

Evolutionary game theory of continuous traits from a causal perspective.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 378(1876):20210507.

Modern evolutionary game theory typically deals with the evolution of continuous, quantitative traits under weak selection, allowing the incorporation of rich biological detail and complicated nonlinear interactions. While these models are commonly used to find candidates for evolutionary endpoints and to approximate evolutionary trajectories, a less appreciated property is their potential to expose and clarify the causal structure of evolutionary processes. The mathematical step of differentiation breaks a nonlinear model into additive components which are more intuitive to interpret, and when combined with a proper causal hypothesis, partial derivatives in such models have a causal meaning. Such an approach has been used in the causal analysis of game-theoretical models in an informal manner. Here we formalize this approach by linking evolutionary game theory to concepts developed in causal modelling over the past century, from path coefficients to the recently proposed causal derivative. There is a direct correspondence between the causal derivative and the derivative used in evolutionary game theory. Some game theoretical models (e.g. kin selection) consist of multiple causal derivatives. Components of these derivatives correspond to components of the causal derivative, to path coefficients, and to edges on a causal graph, formally linking evolutionary game theory to causal modelling. This article is part of the theme issue 'Half a century of evolutionary games: a synthesis of theory, application and future directions'.

RevDate: 2023-09-19
CmpDate: 2023-03-21

Van Cleve J (2023)

Evolutionarily stable strategy analysis and its links to demography and genetics through invasion fitness.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 378(1876):20210496.

Evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) analysis pioneered by Maynard Smith and Price took off in part because it often does not require explicit assumptions about the genetics and demography of a population in contrast to population genetic models. Though this simplicity is useful, it obscures the degree to which ESS analysis applies to populations with more realistic genetics and demography: for example, how does ESS analysis handle complexities such as kin selection, group selection and variable environments when phenotypes are affected by multiple genes? In this paper, I review the history of the ESS concept and show how early uncertainty about the method lead to important mathematical theory linking ESS analysis to general population genetic models. I use this theory to emphasize the link between ESS analysis and the concept of invasion fitness. I give examples of how invasion fitness can measure kin selection, group selection and the evolution of linked modifier genes in response to variable environments. The ESSs in these examples depend crucially on demographic and genetic parameters, which highlights how ESS analysis will continue to be an important tool in understanding evolutionary patterns as new models address the increasing abundance of genetic and long-term demographic data in natural populations. This article is part of the theme issue 'Half a century of evolutionary games: a synthesis of theory, application and future directions'.

RevDate: 2023-06-13
CmpDate: 2023-06-08

Mazal L, Fajardo A, Till-Bottraud I, et al (2023)

Kin selection, kin recognition and kin discrimination in plants revisited: A claim for considering environmental and genetic variability.

Plant, cell & environment, 46(7):2007-2016.

RevDate: 2023-11-06
CmpDate: 2023-07-14

Fox MM, Knorr DA, Kwon D, et al (2023)

How prenatal cortisol levels relate to grandmother-mother relationships among a cohort of Latina women.

American journal of human biology : the official journal of the Human Biology Council, 35(7):e23883.

INTRODUCTION: As part of the human reproductive strategy, mothers receive childcare assistance from others. For kin, allomothers are adaptively incentivized to provide assistance due to inclusive fitness benefits. Previous studies across a broad range of populations identify grandmothers as particularly consistent allomothers. Minimal attention has been paid to the possibility that allomothers may begin investing in offspring quality during the prenatal stage of life. Here, we innovate within the area of grandmother allocare research by examining the prenatal stage of life and biopsychosocial mechanisms by which prenatal grandmother effects may be enacted.

METHODS: Data derive from the Mothers' Cultural Experiences study, a cohort of 107 pregnant Latina women in Southern California. At <16 weeks' gestation, we administered questionnaires, collected morning urine samples, and measured cortisol by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, correcting for specific gravity. We measured the soon-to-be maternal and paternal grandmothers' relationship quality, social support, frequency of seeing each other, communicating, and geographic proximity to pregnant mothers, that is, their daughters and daughters-in-law. These measures were self-reported by the pregnant mothers. We assessed how grandmother constructs related to the pregnant women's depression, stress, anxiety, and cortisol levels.

RESULTS: We observed benefits conferred by maternal grandmothers for mothers' prenatal mental health and lower cortisol levels. Paternal grandmothers also conferred mental health benefits to pregnant daughters-in-law, but higher cortisol levels.

CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that grandmothers, especially maternal grandmothers, are able to improve their inclusive fitness by caring for pregnant daughters, and allomother support may positively impact prenatal health. This work extends the traditional cooperative breeding model by identifying a prenatal grandmother effect, and, by examining a maternal biomarker.

RevDate: 2023-05-31
CmpDate: 2023-02-23

Rodrigues AMM, Barker JL, EJH Robinson (2023)

The evolution of intergroup cooperation.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 378(1874):20220074.

Sociality is widespread among animals, and involves complex relationships within and between social groups. While intragroup interactions are often cooperative, intergroup interactions typically involve conflict, or at best tolerance. Active cooperation between members of distinct, separate groups occurs very rarely, predominantly in some primate and ant species. Here, we ask why intergroup cooperation is so rare, and what conditions favour its evolution. We present a model incorporating intra- and intergroup relationships and local and long-distance dispersal. We show that dispersal modes play a pivotal role in the evolution of intergroup interactions. Both long-distance and local dispersal processes drive population social structure, and the costs and benefits of intergroup conflict, tolerance and cooperation. Overall, the evolution of multi-group interaction patterns, including both intergroup aggression and intergroup tolerance, or even altruism, is more likely with mostly localized dispersal. However, the evolution of these intergroup relationships may have significant ecological impacts, and this feedback may alter the ecological conditions that favour its own evolution. These results show that the evolution of intergroup cooperation is favoured by a specific set of conditions, and may not be evolutionarily stable. We discuss how our results relate to empirical evidence of intergroup cooperation in ants and primates. This article is part of a discussion meeting issue 'Collective behaviour through time'.

RevDate: 2023-02-17
CmpDate: 2023-02-17

Santoriello F, S Pukatzki (2023)

Type VI Secretion Systems: Environmental and Intra-host Competition of Vibrio cholerae.

Advances in experimental medicine and biology, 1404:41-63.

The Vibrio Type VI Secretion System (T6SS) is a harpoon-like nanomachine that serves as a defense system and is encoded by approximately 25% of all gram-negative bacteria. In this chapter, we describe the structure of the T6SS in different Vibrio species and outline how the use of different T6SS effector and immunity proteins control kin selection. We summarize the genetic loci that encode the structural elements that make up the Vibrio T6SSs and how these gene clusters are regulated. Finally, we provide insights into T6SS-based competitive dynamics, the role of T6SS genetic exchange in those competitive dynamics, and roles for the Vibrio T6SS in virulence.

RevDate: 2023-02-16
CmpDate: 2023-02-03

Fischer S, Duffield C, Davidson AJ, et al (2023)

Fitness Costs of Female Competition Linked to Resource Defense and Relatedness of Competitors.

The American naturalist, 201(2):256-268.

AbstractFemale reproductive success is often limited by access to resources, and this can lead to social competition both within and between kin groups. Theory predicts that both resource availability and relatedness should influence the fitness consequences of social competition. However, testing key predictions requires differentiating the effects of these two factors. Here, we achieve this experimentally by manipulating the social environment of house mice, a facultative communal breeding species with known kin discrimination ability. This allows us to investigate (1) the reproductive costs of defending a limited resource in response to cues of social competition and (2) whether such costs, or their potential mitigation via cooperative behavior, are influenced by the relatedness of competitors. Our results support the hypothesis that resource defense can be costly for females, potentially trading off against maternal investment. When the availability of protected nest sites was limited, subjects (1) were more active, (2) responded more strongly to simulated territory intrusions via competitive signaling, and (3) produced smaller weaned offspring. However, we found no evidence that the propensity for kin to cooperate was influenced by the relatedness of rivals. Communal breeding between sisters occurred independently of the relatedness of competitors and communally breeding sisters weaned fewer offspring when competing with unrelated females, despite our study being designed to prevent infanticide between kin groups. Our findings thus demonstrate that female competition has fitness costs and that associating with kin is beneficial to avoid negative fitness consequences of competing with nonkin, in addition to more widely recognized kin-selected benefits.

RevDate: 2023-02-02
CmpDate: 2023-02-01

Leake DW (2022)

Tracing Slow Phenoptosis to the Prenatal Stage in Social Vertebrates.

Biochemistry. Biokhimiia, 87(12):1512-1527.

Vladimir Skulachev's coining of the term "phenoptosis" 25 years ago (Skulachev, V. P., Biochemistry (Moscow), 62, 1997) highlighted the theoretical possibility that aging is a programmed process to speed the exit of individuals posing some danger to their social group. While rapid "acute phenoptosis" might occur at any age (e.g., to prevent spread of deadly infections), "slow phenoptosis" is generally considered to occur later in life in the form of chronic age-related disorders. However, recent research indicates that risks for such chronic disorders can be greatly raised by early life adversity, especially during the prenatal stage. Much of this research uses indicators of biological aging, the speeding or slowing of natural physiological deterioration in response to environmental inputs, leading to divergence from chronological age. Studies using biological aging indicators commonly find it is accelerated not only in older individuals with chronic disorders, but also in very young individuals with health problems. This review will explain how accelerated biological aging equates to slow phenoptosis. Its occurrence even in the prenatal stage is theoretically supported by W. D. Hamilton's proposal that offsprings detecting they have dangerous mutations should then automatically speed their demise, in order to improve their inclusive fitness by giving their parents the chance to produce other fitter siblings.

RevDate: 2023-02-02
CmpDate: 2023-02-01

Pandey T, DK Ma (2022)

Stress-Induced Phenoptosis: Mechanistic Insights and Evolutionary Implications.

Biochemistry. Biokhimiia, 87(12):1504-1511.

Evolution by natural selection results in biological traits that enable organismic adaptation and survival under various stressful environments. External stresses can be sometimes too severe to overcome, leading to organismic death either because of failure in adapting to such stress, or alternatively, through a regulated form of organismic death (phenoptosis). While regulated cell deaths, including apoptosis, have been extensively studied, little is known about the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying phenoptosis and its evolutionary significance for multicellular organisms. In this article, we review documented phenomena and mechanistic evidence emerging from studies of stress-induced phenoptosis in the multicellular organism C. elegans and stress-induced deaths at cellular levels in organisms ranging from bacteria to mammals, focusing on abiotic and pathogen stresses. Genes and signaling pathways involved in phenoptosis appear to promote organismic death during severe stress and aging, while conferring fitness and immune defense during mild stress and early life, consistent with their antagonistic pleiotropy actions. As cell apoptosis during development can shape tissues and organs, stress-induced phenoptosis may also contribute to possible benefits at the population level, through mechanisms including kin selection, abortive infection, and soma-to-germline resource allocation. Current models can generate experimentally testable predictions and conceptual frameworks with implications for understanding both stress-induced phenoptosis and natural aging.

RevDate: 2023-09-18
CmpDate: 2023-02-01

Lidsky PV, Yuan J, Rulison JM, et al (2022)

Is Aging an Inevitable Characteristic of Organic Life or an Evolutionary Adaptation?.

Biochemistry. Biokhimiia, 87(12):1413-1445.

Aging is an evolutionary paradox. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain it, but none fully explains all the biochemical and ecologic data accumulated over decades of research. We suggest that senescence is a primitive immune strategy which acts to protect an individual's kin from chronic infections. Older organisms are exposed to pathogens for a longer period of time and have a higher likelihood of acquiring infectious diseases. Accordingly, the parasitic load in aged individuals is higher than in younger ones. Given that the probability of pathogen transmission is higher within the kin, the inclusive fitness cost of infection might exceed the benefit of living longer. In this case, programmed lifespan termination might be an evolutionarily stable strategy. Here, we discuss the classical evolutionary hypotheses of aging and compare them with the pathogen control hypothesis, discuss the consistency of these hypotheses with existing empirical data, and present a revised conceptual framework to understand the evolution of aging.

RevDate: 2023-03-10
CmpDate: 2023-03-03

Wild G (2023)

Technical comment on "sex ratios when helpers stay at the nest".

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution, 77(3):921-927.

I contributed a paper to volume 60 of the journal. The paper reported on my study of sex-ratio evolution when one sex (females) is helpful but the other sex (males) suffers less from kin competition. I had based my study on a kin-selection model, and so I was dismayed to discover an error in the relatedness calculations therein. Specifically, relatedness coefficients that should have been calculated using a sampling-without-replacement scheme were instead calculated using sampling with replacement. Here, I correct my error and show how it impacts my original findings. I argue that my main conclusions are unchanged. Furthermore, only two new findings contrast with those I presented earlier. First, changing those model details unrelated to the marginal fitness benefits of help does not, in turn, impact substantially the conflict that occurs between mates over the brood sex ratio (I had previously reported some noteworthy impact was possible). Second, help can reduce sex-ratio conflict between mates more effectively when breeders occur in smaller groups (previously, I had said this occurred in larger groups).

RevDate: 2023-03-17
CmpDate: 2023-03-15

Schradin C (2023)

Traits don't evolve for the benefit of the species but because they increase individuals' inclusive fitness.

Brain, behavior, and immunity, 109:89.

RevDate: 2023-02-06
CmpDate: 2023-01-10

Robinson SD, Schendel V, Schroeder CI, et al (2023)

Intra-colony venom diversity contributes to maintaining eusociality in a cooperatively breeding ant.

BMC biology, 21(1):5.

BACKGROUND: Eusociality is widely considered to evolve through kin selection, where the reproductive success of an individual's close relative is favored at the expense of its own. High genetic relatedness is thus considered a prerequisite for eusociality. While ants are textbook examples of eusocial animals, not all ants form colonies of closely related individuals. One such example is the ectatommine ant Rhytidoponera metallica, which predominantly forms queen-less colonies that have such a low intra-colony relatedness that they have been proposed to represent a transient, unstable form of eusociality. However, R. metallica is among the most abundant and widespread ants on the Australian continent. This apparent contradiction provides an example of how inclusive fitness may not by itself explain the maintenance of eusociality and raises the question of what other selective advantages maintain the eusocial lifestyle of this species.

RESULTS: We provide a comprehensive portrait of the venom of R. metallica and show that the colony-wide venom consists of an exceptionally high diversity of functionally distinct toxins for an ant. These toxins have evolved under strong positive selection, which is normally expected to reduce genetic variance. Yet, R. metallica exhibits remarkable intra-colony variation, with workers sharing only a relatively small proportion of toxins in their venoms. This variation is not due to the presence of chemical castes, but has a genetic foundation that is at least in part explained by toxin allelic diversity.

CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, our results suggest that the toxin diversity contained in R. metallica colonies may be maintained by a form of group selection that selects for colonies that can exploit more resources and defend against a wider range of predators. We propose that increased intra-colony genetic variance resulting from low kinship may itself provide a selective advantage in the form of an expanded pharmacological venom repertoire. These findings provide an example of how group selection on adaptive phenotypes may contribute to maintaining eusociality where a prerequisite for kin selection is diminished.

RevDate: 2023-01-03

Kreider JJ, Kramer BH, Komdeur J, et al (2022)

The evolution of ageing in cooperative breeders.

Evolution letters, 6(6):450-459.

Cooperatively breeding animals live longer than their solitary counterparts. This has been suggested for birds, mole rats, and social insects. A common explanation for these long lifespans is that cooperative breeding evolves more readily in long-lived species because lower mortality reduces the rate of territory turnover and thus leads to a limitation of breeding territories. Here, we reverse this argument and show that-rather than being a cause for its evolution-long lifespans are an evolutionary consequence of cooperative breeding. In evolutionary individual-based simulations, we show that natural selection favors a delayed onset of senescence in cooperative breeders, relative to solitary breeders, because cooperative breeders have a delayed age of first reproduction as helpers wait in a reproductive queue to obtain breeder status. Especially long lifespans evolve in cooperative breeders in which queue positions depend on the helpers' age rank among the helpers within the breeding territory. Furthermore, we show that lower genetic relatedness among group members leads to the evolution of longer lifespans. This is because selection against higher mortality is weaker when mortality reduces competition for breeding between relatives. Our results link the evolutionary theory of ageing with kin selection theory, demonstrating that the evolution of ageing in cooperative breeders is driven by the timing of reproduction and kin structure within breeding territories.

RevDate: 2023-01-11
CmpDate: 2023-01-11

Bruckner S, Straub L, Neumann P, et al (2023)

Negative but antagonistic effects of neonicotinoid insecticides and ectoparasitic mites Varroa destructor on Apis mellifera honey bee food glands.

Chemosphere, 313:137535.

Collaborative brood care by workers is essential for the functionality of eusocial Apis mellifera honey bee colonies. The hypopharyngeal food glands of workers play a crucial role in this context. Even though there is consensus that ubiquitous ectoparasitic mites Varroa destructor and widespread insecticides, such as neonicotinoids, are major stressors for honey bee health, their impact alone and in combination on the feeding glands of workers is poorly understood. Here, we show that combined exposure to V. destructor and neonicotinoids antagonistically interacted on hypopharyngeal gland size, yet they did not interact on emergence body mass or survival. While the observed effects of the antagonistic interaction were less negative than expected based on the sum of the individual effects, hypopharyngeal gland size was still significantly reduced. Alone, V. destructor parasitism negatively affected emergence body mass, survival, and hypopharyngeal gland size, whereas neonicotinoid exposure reduced hypopharyngeal gland size only. Since size is associated with hypopharyngeal gland functionality, a reduction could result in inadequate brood care. As cooperative brood care is a cornerstone of eusociality, smaller glands could have adverse down-stream effects on inclusive fitness of honey bee colonies. Therefore, our findings highlight the need to further study how ubiquitous stressors like V. destructor and neonicotinoids interact to affect honey bees.

RevDate: 2022-12-22
CmpDate: 2022-12-15

Davidian E, OP Höner (2022)

Kinship and similarity drive coordination of breeding-group choice in male spotted hyenas.

Biology letters, 18(12):20220402.

When and where animals reproduce influences the social, demographic and genetic properties of the groups and populations they live in. We examined the extent to which male spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) coordinate their breeding-group choice. We tested whether their propensity to settle in the same group is shaped by passive processes driven by similarities in their socio-ecological background and genotype or by an adaptive process driven by kin selection. We compared the choices of 148 pairs of same-cohort males that varied in similarity and kinship. We found strong support for both processes. Coordination was highest (70% of pairs) for littermates, who share most cumulative similarity, lower (36%) among peers born in the same group to different mothers, and lowest (7%) among strangers originating from different groups and mothers. Consistent with the kin selection hypothesis, the propensity to choose the same group was density dependent for full siblings and close kin, but not distant kin. Coordination increased as the number of breeding females and male competitors in social groups increased, i.e. when costs of kin competition over mates decreased and benefits of kin cooperation increased. Our results contrast with the traditional view that breeding-group choice and dispersal are predominantly solitary processes.


RJR Experience and Expertise


Robbins holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees in the life sciences. He served as a tenured faculty member in the Zoology and Biological Science departments at Michigan State University. He is currently exploring the intersection between genomics, microbial ecology, and biodiversity — an area that promises to transform our understanding of the biosphere.


Robbins has extensive experience in college-level education: At MSU he taught introductory biology, genetics, and population genetics. At JHU, he was an instructor for a special course on biological database design. At FHCRC, he team-taught a graduate-level course on the history of genetics. At Bellevue College he taught medical informatics.


Robbins has been involved in science administration at both the federal and the institutional levels. At NSF he was a program officer for database activities in the life sciences, at DOE he was a program officer for information infrastructure in the human genome project. At the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, he served as a vice president for fifteen years.


Robbins has been involved with information technology since writing his first Fortran program as a college student. At NSF he was the first program officer for database activities in the life sciences. At JHU he held an appointment in the CS department and served as director of the informatics core for the Genome Data Base. At the FHCRC he was VP for Information Technology.


While still at Michigan State, Robbins started his first publishing venture, founding a small company that addressed the short-run publishing needs of instructors in very large undergraduate classes. For more than 20 years, Robbins has been operating The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project, a web site dedicated to the digital publishing of critical works in science, especially classical genetics.


Robbins is well-known for his speaking abilities and is often called upon to provide keynote or plenary addresses at international meetings. For example, in July, 2012, he gave a well-received keynote address at the Global Biodiversity Informatics Congress, sponsored by GBIF and held in Copenhagen. The slides from that talk can be seen HERE.


Robbins is a skilled meeting facilitator. He prefers a participatory approach, with part of the meeting involving dynamic breakout groups, created by the participants in real time: (1) individuals propose breakout groups; (2) everyone signs up for one (or more) groups; (3) the groups with the most interested parties then meet, with reports from each group presented and discussed in a subsequent plenary session.


Robbins has been engaged with photography and design since the 1960s, when he worked for a professional photography laboratory. He now prefers digital photography and tools for their precision and reproducibility. He designed his first web site more than 20 years ago and he personally designed and implemented this web site. He engages in graphic design as a hobby.

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E-mail: RJR8222@gmail.com

Collection of publications by R J Robbins

Reprints and preprints of publications, slide presentations, instructional materials, and data compilations written or prepared by Robert Robbins. Most papers deal with computational biology, genome informatics, using information technology to support biomedical research, and related matters.

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

ResearchGate is a social networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers, ask and answer questions, and find collaborators. According to a study by Nature and an article in Times Higher Education , it is the largest academic social network in terms of active users.

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

short personal version

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

long standard version

RJR Picks from Around the Web (updated 11 MAY 2018 )