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04 Dec 2023 at 01:45
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Bibliography on: Kin Selection


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 04 Dec 2023 at 01:45 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: 2023-11-29

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: 2023-11-28

Reynolds-Hogland M, Brooks C, Ramsey AB, et al (2023)

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

Behavioural processes pii:S0376-6357(23)00154-7 [Epub ahead of print].

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: 2023-11-17

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: 2023-11-16

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 pii:arad062.

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: 2023-11-07

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: 2023-11-07

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: 2023-11-05

Gardner A (2023)

A geometric approach to the evolution of altruism.

Journal of theoretical biology pii:S0022-5193(23)00250-3 [Epub ahead of print].

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: 2023-10-22

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: 2023-10-13

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: 2023-10-11

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: 2023-10-03

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: 2023-09-28

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

Should sons breed independently or help? Local relatedness matters.

The Journal of animal ecology [Epub ahead of print].

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: 2023-09-25

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

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

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

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: 2023-09-13

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: 2023-09-05

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: 2023-09-05

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 [Epub ahead of print].

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: 2023-08-28

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: 2023-08-23

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: 2023-08-17

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: 2023-08-17

Kerry N, Blake KR, Murray DR, et al (2021)

Male descendant kin promote conservative views on gender issues and conformity to traditional norms.

Evolutionary human sciences, 3:e34.

Political and social attitudes have been shown to differ by sex in a way that tracks individual self-interest. We propose that these attitudes also change strategically to serve the best interests of either male or female kin. To test this hypothesis, we developed a measure of gendered fitness interests (GFI) - an index which reflects the sex, relatedness and residual reproductive value of close kin. We predicted that people with male-biased GFI (i.e. people with more male kin of a reproductive age) would have more conservative attitudes towards gender-related issues (e.g. gender roles, women's rights, abortion rights). An online study using an American sample (N = 560) found support for this hypothesis. Further analyses revealed that this relationship was driven not only by people's own sex and reproductive value but also by those of their descendant kin. Exploratory analyses also found a positive association between male-biased GFI and a measure of conformity, as well as a smaller association between male-biased GFI and having voted Republican in the last election. Both of these associations were statistically mediated by gender-related conservatism. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that GFI influences sociopolitical attitudes.

RevDate: 2023-08-17

Gehrig S, Mesoudi A, S Lamba (2021)

Banking on cooperation: an evolutionary analysis of microfinance loan repayment behaviour.

Evolutionary human sciences, 3:e2.

Microfinance is an economic development tool that provides loans to low-income borrowers to stimulate economic growth and reduce financial hardship. Lenders typically require joint liability, where multiple borrowers share the responsibility of repaying a group loan. We propose that this lending practice creates a cooperation dilemma similar to that faced by humans and other organisms in nature across many domains. This could offer a real-world test case for evolutionary theories of cooperation from the biological sciences. In turn, such theories could provide new insights into loan repayment behaviour. We first hypothesise how group loan repayment efficacy should be affected by mechanisms of assortment from the evolutionary literature on cooperation, i.e. common ancestry (kin selection), prior interaction (reciprocity), partner choice, similarity of tags, social learning, and ecology and demography. We then assess selected hypotheses by reviewing 41 studies from 32 countries on micro-borrowers' loan repayment, evaluating which characteristics of borrowers are associated with credit repayment behaviour. Surprisingly, we find that kinship is mostly negatively associated with repayment efficacy, but prior interaction and partner choice are both more positively associated. Our work highlights the scope of evolutionary theory to provide systematic insight into how humans respond to novel economic institutions and interventions.

RevDate: 2023-08-17

van Veelen M (2020)

The group selection-inclusive fitness equivalence claim: not true and not relevant.

Evolutionary human sciences, 2:e11.

The debate on (cultural) group selection regularly suffers from an inclusive fitness overdose. The classical view is that all group selection is kin selection, and that Hamilton's rule works for all models. I claim that not all group selection is kin selection, and that Hamilton's rule does not always get the direction of selection right. More importantly, I will argue that the paper by Smith (2020; Cultural group selection and human cooperation: a conceptual and empirical review. Evolutionary Human Sciences, 2) shows that inclusive fitness is not particularly relevant for much of the empirical evidence relating to the question whether or not cultural group selection shaped human behaviour.

RevDate: 2023-08-17

Micheletti AJC, Ruxton GD, A Gardner (2020)

The demography of human warfare can drive sex differences in altruism.

Evolutionary human sciences, 2:e7.

Recent years have seen great interest in the suggestion that between-group aggression and within-group altruism have coevolved. However, these efforts have neglected the possibility that warfare - via its impact on demography - might influence human social behaviours more widely, not just those directly connected to success in war. Moreover, the potential for sex differences in the demography of warfare to translate into sex differences in social behaviour more generally has remained unexplored. Here, we develop a kin-selection model of altruism performed by men and women for the benefit of their groupmates in a population experiencing intergroup conflict. We find that warfare can promote altruistic, helping behaviours as the additional reproductive opportunities winners obtain in defeated groups decrease harmful competition between kin. Furthermore, we find that sex can be a crucial modulator of altruism, with there being a tendency for the sex that competes more intensely with relatives to behave more altruistically and for the sex that competes more intensely with non-relatives in defeated groups to receive more altruism. In addition, there is also a tendency for the less-dispersing sex to both give and receive more altruism. We discuss implications for our understanding of observed sex differences in cooperation in human societies.

RevDate: 2023-08-02

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 [Epub ahead of print].

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: 2023-07-27

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: 2023-07-17

Prigent I, C Mullon (2023)

The moulding of intra-specific trait variation by selection under ecological inheritance.

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution pii:7225360 [Epub ahead of print].

Organisms continuously modify their environment, often impacting the fitness of future conspecifics due to ecological inheritance. When this inheritance is biased towards kin, selection favours 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 favours 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: 2023-07-18
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: 2023-07-15

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 [Epub ahead of print].

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: 2023-07-18

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: 2023-07-01
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: 2023-05-19
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: 2023-05-29
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: 2023-05-19
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: 2023-05-09
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: 2023-07-21
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: 2023-04-24
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: 2023-07-19
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: 2023-02-02
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.

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

Wu R, Pang J, Xu Z, et al (2023)

Adolescence Predatory Risk Alters Social Behaviors and Cognitive Ability and Central Oxytocin and Vasopressin Expression in Adult Brandt's Voles.

Neuroendocrinology, 113(5):519-534.

INTRODUCTION: Stress during adolescence causes long-term behavioral changes in adulthood. We previously found that adolescent exposure to predatory risk augments adolescent social contact and adult parental behavior in Brandt's voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii).

METHODS: Here, we determined whether this experience alters sexual behavior, pair-bond formation, and recognition ability as well as basal HPA axis activity, central oxytocin (OT), and arginine-vasopressin (AVP) expression in adulthood.

RESULTS: In the social interaction test, repeated cat odor (CO) exposure enhanced the frequency of lordosis by female voles toward an unfamiliar opposite-sex conspecific. CO voles preferred to engage with their partners after 48-h cohabitation whereas the control groups did not, which may reflect stable pair bonds in the CO treatment group. Furthermore, adolescent exposure to CO inhibited novel object recognition and place recognition ability, while it influenced social recognition only among adult males. No effect of adolescent CO exposure was observed for basal HPA axis activity, showing a habituation effect. Finally, we found that CO exposure increased OT and decreased AVP expression in the hypothalamus, including the paraventricular nucleus and anterior hypothalamus. The levels of OT in the medial amygdala were lower, and AVP in the lateral septum was higher in CO voles compared with the control.

CONCLUSION: These findings demonstrate that adolescent exposure to predator risk promotes adult reproductive behavior of Brandt's voles. Deficits in recognition ability may necessitate alterations in reproductive strategies to enhance inclusive fitness. OT and AVP systems may play a modulatory role in the alteration of social behaviors elicited by adolescent predatory risk.

RevDate: 2022-12-10

Boon-Falleur M, Dormont B, C Chevallier (2022)

Does higher perceived risk of morbidity and mortality decrease risk-taking?.

Royal Society open science, 9(12):220486.

Previous studies have shown that people change their behaviour in response to negative shocks such as economic downturns or natural catastrophes. Indeed, the optimal behaviour in terms of inclusive fitness often varies according to a number of parameters, such as the level of mortality risk in the environment. Beyond unprecedented restrictions in everyday life, the COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected people's environment. In this study, we investigated how people form their perception of morbidity and mortality risk associated with COVID-19 and how this perception in turn affects psychological traits, such as risk-taking and patience. We analysed data from a large survey conducted during the first wave in France on 3353 nationally representative people. We found that people use public information on COVID-19 deaths in the area where they live to form their perceived morbidity and mortality risk. Using a structural model approach to lift endogeneity concerns, we found that higher perceived morbidity and mortality risk increases risk aversion. We also found that higher perceived morbidity and mortality risk leads to less patience, although this was only observed for high levels of perceived risk. Our results suggest that people adapt their behaviour to anticipated negative health shocks, namely the risk of becoming sick or dying of COVID-19.

RevDate: 2023-03-21
CmpDate: 2023-03-14

da Silva J (2023)

The kin selection theory of genomic imprinting and modes of reproduction in the eusocial Hymenoptera.

Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 98(2):677-695.

Genomic imprinting is known from flowering plants and mammals but has not been confirmed for the Hymenoptera even though the eusocial Hymenoptera are prime candidates for this peculiar form of gene expression. Here, the kin selection theory of genomic imprinting is reviewed and applied to the eusocial Hymenoptera. The evidence for imprinting in eusocial Hymenoptera with the typical mode of reproduction, involving the sexual production of diploid female offspring, which develop into workers or gynes, and the arrhenotokous parthenogenesis of haploid males, is also reviewed briefly. However, the focus of this review is how atypical modes of reproduction, involving thelytokous parthenogenesis, hybridisation and androgenesis, may also select for imprinting. In particular, naturally occurring hybridisation in several genera of ants may provide useful tests of the role of kin selection in the evolution of imprinting. Hybridisation is expected to disrupt the coadaptation of antagonistically imprinted loci, and thus affect the phenotypes of hybrids. Some of the limited data available on hybrid worker reproduction and on colony sex ratios support predictions about patterns of imprinting derived from kin selection theory.

RevDate: 2022-11-26

Card DC, Van Camp AG, Santonastaso T, et al (2022)

Structure and evolution of the squamate major histocompatibility complex as revealed by two Anolis lizard genomes.

Frontiers in genetics, 13:979746.

The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is an important genomic region for adaptive immunity and has long been studied in ecological and evolutionary contexts, such as disease resistance and mate and kin selection. The MHC has been investigated extensively in mammals and birds but far less so in squamate reptiles, the third major radiation of amniotes. We localized the core MHC genomic region in two squamate species, the green anole (Anolis carolinensis) and brown anole (A. sagrei), and provide the first detailed characterization of the squamate MHC, including the presence and ordering of known MHC genes in these species and comparative assessments of genomic structure and composition in MHC regions. We find that the Anolis MHC, located on chromosome 2 in both species, contains homologs of many previously-identified mammalian MHC genes in a single core MHC region. The repetitive element composition in anole MHC regions was similar to those observed in mammals but had important distinctions, such as higher proportions of DNA transposons. Moreover, longer introns and intergenic regions result in a much larger squamate MHC region (11.7 Mb and 24.6 Mb in the green and brown anole, respectively). Evolutionary analyses of MHC homologs of anoles and other representative amniotes uncovered generally monophyletic relationships between species-specific homologs and a loss of the peptide-binding domain exon 2 in one of two mhc2β gene homologs of each anole species. Signals of diversifying selection in each anole species was evident across codons of mhc1, many of which appear functionally relevant given known structures of this protein from the green anole, chicken, and human. Altogether, our investigation fills a major gap in understanding of amniote MHC diversity and evolution and provides an important foundation for future squamate-specific or vertebrate-wide investigations of the MHC.

RevDate: 2023-01-11
CmpDate: 2022-11-28

Kristensen NP, Ohtsuki H, RA Chisholm (2022)

Ancestral social environments plus nonlinear benefits can explain cooperation in human societies.

Scientific reports, 12(1):20252.

Human cooperation (paying a cost to benefit others) is puzzling from a Darwinian perspective, particularly in groups with strangers who cannot repay nor are family members. The beneficial effects of cooperation typically increase nonlinearly with the number of cooperators, e.g., increasing returns when cooperation is low and diminishing returns when cooperation is high. Such nonlinearity can allow cooperation between strangers to persist evolutionarily if a large enough proportion of the population are already cooperators. However, if a lone cooperator faces a conflict between the group's and its own interests (a social dilemma), that raises the question of how cooperation arose in the first place. We use a mathematically tractable evolutionary model to formalise a chronological narrative that has previously only been investigated verbally: given that ancient humans interacted mostly with family members (genetic homophily), cooperation evolved first by kin selection, and then persisted in situations with nonlinear benefits as homophily declined or even if interactions with strangers became the norm. The model also predicts the coexistence of cooperators and defectors observed in the human population (polymorphism), and may explain why cooperators in behavioural experiments prefer to condition their contribution on the contributions of others (conditional cooperation in public goods games).

RevDate: 2022-12-08
CmpDate: 2022-11-28

Kyrgiafini MA, Giannoulis T, Moutou KA, et al (2022)

Investigating the Impact of a Curse: Diseases, Population Isolation, Evolution and the Mother's Curse.

Genes, 13(11):.

The mitochondrion was characterized for years as the energy factory of the cell, but now its role in many more cellular processes is recognized. The mitochondrion and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) also possess a set of distinct properties, including maternal inheritance, that creates the Mother's Curse phenomenon. As mtDNA is inherited from females to all offspring, mutations that are harmful to males tend to accumulate more easily. The Mother's Curse is associated with various diseases, and has a significant effect on males, in many cases even affecting their reproductive ability. Sometimes, it even leads to reproductive isolation, as in crosses between different populations, the mitochondrial genome cannot cooperate effectively with the nuclear one resulting in a mito-nuclear incompatibility and reduce the fitness of the hybrids. This phenomenon is observed both in the laboratory and in natural populations, and have the potential to influence their evolution and speciation. Therefore, it turns out that the study of mitochondria is an exciting field that finds many applications, including pest control, and it can shed light on the molecular mechanism of several diseases, improving successful diagnosis and therapeutics. Finally, mito-nuclear co-adaptation, paternal leakage, and kin selection are some mechanisms that can mitigate the impact of the Mother's Curse.

RevDate: 2022-12-01
CmpDate: 2022-12-01

Higham JP (2022)

Kin selection spreads.

eLife, 11:.

By spending more time around infants which physically resemble their own, mandrill mothers may increase how frequently their offspring interact with their paternal half siblings.

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

Whyte S, Chan HF, Ferguson N, et al (2023)

Understanding the Reasons Why Men and Women Do Not Donate Gametes.

Reproductive sciences (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), 30(5):1651-1659.

The global under-supply of sperm and oocyte donors is a serious concern for assisted reproductive medicine. Research has explored self-selected populations of gamete donors and their ex-post rationalisations of why they chose to donate. However, such studies may not provide the necessary insight into why the majority of people do not donate. Utilising the unique open form responses of a large sample (n = 1035) of online survey respondents, we examine the reasons participants cite when asked: "Why haven't you donated your sperm/eggs?." We categorise these responses into four core themes (conditional willingness, barriers, unconsidered, and conscientious objector) and eleven lower-order themes. We find that, on average, women are more conditionally willing (8.2% difference; p = 0.008) to participate in gamete donation than men. We also find that women are more likely than men to justify their non-donation based on their reproductive history (21.3% difference; p = 0.000) or kin selection and inclusive fitness (5.7% difference; p = 0.008). However, compared to women, men are more likely to validate their non-donation based on sociocultural or social norms (6% difference; p = 0.000) or religion (1.7% difference; p = 0.030). That so many of our study participants report in-principal willingness for future participation in gamete donation speaks to the need for increased research on understanding non-donor population preferences, motivations, and behaviours.

RevDate: 2022-11-28
CmpDate: 2022-11-16

Charpentier MJE, Poirotte C, Roura-Torres B, et al (2022)

Mandrill mothers associate with infants who look like their own offspring using phenotype matching.

eLife, 11:.

Behavioral discrimination of kin is a key process structuring social relationships in animals. In this study, we provide evidence for discrimination towards non-kin by third-parties through a mechanism of phenotype matching. In mandrills, we recently demonstrated increased facial resemblance among paternally related juvenile and adult females indicating adaptive opportunities for paternal kin recognition. Here, we hypothesize that mandrill mothers use offspring's facial resemblance with other infants to guide offspring's social opportunities towards similar-looking ones. Using deep learning for face recognition in 80 wild mandrill infants, we first show that infants sired by the same father resemble each other the most, independently of their age, sex or maternal origin, extending previous results to the youngest age class. Using long-term behavioral observations on association patterns, and controlling for matrilineal origin, maternal relatedness and infant age and sex, we then show, as predicted, that mothers are spatially closer to infants that resemble their own offspring more, and that this maternal behavior leads to similar-looking infants being spatially associated. We then discuss the different scenarios explaining this result, arguing that an adaptive maternal behavior is a likely explanation. In support of this mechanism and using theoretical modeling, we finally describe a plausible evolutionary process whereby mothers gain fitness benefits by promoting nepotism among paternally related infants. This mechanism, that we call 'second-order kin selection', may extend beyond mother-infant interactions and has the potential to explain cooperative behaviors among non-kin in other social species, including humans.

RevDate: 2023-02-15
CmpDate: 2023-01-06

Penndorf J, Ewart KM, Klump BC, et al (2023)

Social network analysis reveals context-dependent kin relationships in wild sulphur-crested cockatoos Cacatua galerita.

The Journal of animal ecology, 92(1):171-182.

A preference to associate with kin facilitates inclusive fitness benefits, and increased tolerance or cooperation between kin may be an added benefit of group living. Many species exhibit preferred associations with kin; however, it is often hard to disentangle active preferences from passive overlap, for example caused by limited dispersal or inheritance of social position. Many parrots exhibit social systems consisting of pair-bonded individuals foraging in variably sized fission-fusion flocks within larger communal roosts of hundreds of individuals. Previous work has shown that, despite these fission-fusion dynamics, individuals can exhibit long-term preferred foraging associations outside their pair bonds. Yet the underlying drivers of these social preferences remain largely unknown. In this study, we use a network approach to examine the influence of kinship on social associations and interactions in wild, communally roosting sulphur-crested cockatoos, Cacatua galerita. We recorded roost co-membership, social associations and interactions in 561 individually marked birds across three neighbouring roosts. We then collected genetic samples from 205 cockatoos, and conducted a relationship analysis to construct a kinship network. Finally, we tested correlations between kinship and four social networks: association, affiliative, low-intensity aggression and high-intensity aggression. Our result showed that while roosting groups were clearly defined, they showed little genetic differentiation or kin structuring. Between roost movement was high, with juveniles, especially females, repeatedly moving between roosts. Both within roosting communities, and when visiting different roosts, individuals preferentially associated with kin. Supporting this, individuals were also more likely to allopreen kin. However, contrary to expectation, individuals preferred to direct aggression towards kin, with this effect only observed when individuals shared roost membership. By measuring social networks within and between large roosting groups, we could remove potential effects of passive spatial overlap on kin structuring. Our study reveals that sulphur-crested cockatoos actively prefer to associate with kin, both within and between roosting groups. By examining this across different interaction types, we further demonstrate that sulphur-crested cockatoos exhibit behavioural and context-dependent interaction rules towards kin. Our results help reveal the drivers of social association in this species, while adding to the evidence for social complexity in parrots.

RevDate: 2023-03-28
CmpDate: 2022-12-15

Han B, Wei Q, Amiri E, et al (2022)

The molecular basis of socially induced egg-size plasticity in honey bees.

eLife, 11:.

Reproduction involves the investment of resources into offspring. Although variation in reproductive effort often affects the number of offspring, adjustments of propagule size are also found in numerous species, including the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera. However, the proximate causes of these adjustments are insufficiently understood, especially in oviparous species with complex social organization in which adaptive evolution is shaped by kin selection. Here, we show in a series of experiments that queens predictably and reversibly increase egg size in small colonies and decrease egg size in large colonies, while their ovary size changes in the opposite direction. Additional results suggest that these effects cannot be solely explained by egg-laying rate and are due to the queens' perception of colony size. Egg-size plasticity is associated with quantitative changes of 290 ovarian proteins, most of which relate to energy metabolism, protein transport, and cytoskeleton. Based on functional and network analyses, we further study the small GTPase Rho1 as a candidate regulator of egg size. Spatio-temporal expression analysis via RNAscope and qPCR supports an important role of Rho1 in egg-size determination, and subsequent RNAi-mediated gene knockdown confirmed that Rho1 has a major effect on egg size in honey bees. These results elucidate how the social environment of the honey bee colony may be translated into a specific cellular process to adjust maternal investment into eggs. It remains to be studied how widespread this mechanism is and whether it has consequences for population dynamics and epigenetic influences on offspring phenotype in honey bees and other species.

RevDate: 2023-02-27
CmpDate: 2023-02-27

Cordoni G, Comin M, Collarini E, et al (2023)

Domestic pigs (Sus scrofa) engage in non-random post-conflict affiliation with third parties: cognitive and functional implications.

Animal cognition, 26(2):687-701.

In social mammals, conflict resolution involves the reunion of former opponents (aggressor and victim) after an aggressive event (reconciliation) or post-conflict triadic contacts with a third party, started by either opponent (solicited-TSC) or spontaneously offered by the third party (unsolicited-TUC). These post-conflict strategies can serve different functions, including consolation (specifically when TUCs reduce the victim's anxiety). We investigated the possible presence and modulating factors of such strategies on semi-free ranging pigs (Sus scrofa; N = 104), housed at the ethical farm Parva Domus (Cavagnolo, Italy). Kinship was known. Reconciliation was present and mainly occurred between weakly related pigs to possibly improve tolerant cohabitation. Triadic contacts (all present except aggressor TSCs) mostly occurred between close kin. TSCs enacted by victims reduced neither their post-conflict anxiety behaviors nor further attacks by the previous aggressor, possibly because TSCs remained largely unreciprocated. TUCs towards aggressors did not reduce aggressor post-conflict anxiety but limited aggression redirection towards third parties. TUCs towards the victim reduced the victim but not the third-party's anxiety. However, TUCs may also provide inclusive fitness benefits to third parties by benefiting close kin. In sum, pigs engaged in non-random solicited/unsolicited triadic contacts, which suggests that pigs might possess socio-emotional regulation abilities to change their own or others' experience and elements of social appraisal, necessary to detect the emotional arousal of relevant others and (in case of TUCs) take the agency to restore homeostasis.

RevDate: 2022-11-29
CmpDate: 2022-11-29

Wang X, A Harrison (2022)

Non-kin selection enhances complexity in cooperation: A unified quantitative law.

Computational biology and chemistry, 101:107782.

How cooperation evolves in the presence of selfishness is a core problem in evolutionary biology. Selfish individuals tend to benefit themselves, which makes it harder to maintain cooperation between unrelated individuals and for living systems to evolve towards complex organizations. The general evolutionary model presented here identifies that non-kin selection is the root cause for cooperation between unrelated individuals and can enable and maintain higher complexity of biological organizations (the coexistence of more individuals of different types). The maintained number of genotypes within a cooperation organization is shown to follow a universal exponential law as a quantitative function of the population size and non-kin selection strength, showing a gene-pool-size invariance. Our results highlight that non-kin selection may be a hallmark of biological evolution, and play an important role in shaping life's potentials.

RevDate: 2023-04-15
CmpDate: 2023-01-24

Hammer TJ, Easton-Calabria A, NA Moran (2023)

Microbiome assembly and maintenance across the lifespan of bumble bee workers.

Molecular ecology, 32(3):724-740.

How a host's microbiome changes over its lifespan can influence development and ageing. As these temporal patterns have only been described in detail for a handful of hosts, an important next step is to compare microbiome succession more broadly and investigate why it varies. Here we characterize the temporal dynamics and stability of the bumble bee worker gut microbiome. Bumble bees have simple and host-specific gut microbiomes, and their microbial dynamics may influence health and pollination services. We used 16S rRNA gene sequencing, quantitative PCR and metagenomics to characterize gut microbiomes over the lifespan of Bombus impatiens workers. We also sequenced gut transcriptomes to examine host factors that may control the microbiome. At the community level, microbiome assembly is highly predictable and similar to patterns of primary succession observed in the human gut. However, at the strain level, partitioning of bacterial variants among colonies suggests stochastic colonization events similar to those observed in flies and nematodes. We also find strong differences in temporal dynamics among symbiont species, suggesting ecological differences among microbiome members in colonization and persistence. Finally, we show that both the gut microbiome and host transcriptome-including expression of key immunity genes-stabilize, as opposed to senesce, with age. We suggest that in highly social groups such as bumble bees, maintenance of both microbiomes and immunity contribute to inclusive fitness, and thus remain under selection even in old age. Our findings provide a foundation for exploring the mechanisms and functional outcomes of bee microbiome succession.

RevDate: 2022-11-05

Biernaskie JM (2022)

Kin selection theory and the design of cooperative crops.

Evolutionary applications, 15(10):1555-1564.

In agriculture and plant breeding, plant traits may be favoured because they benefit neighbouring plants and ultimately increase total crop yield. This idea of promoting cooperation among crop plants has existed almost as long as W.D. Hamilton's inclusive fitness (kin selection) theory, the leading framework for explaining cooperation in biology. However, kin selection thinking has not been adequately applied to the idea of cooperative crops. Here, I give an overview of modern kin selection theory and consider how it explains three key strategies for designing cooperative crops: (1) selection for a less-competitive plant type (a 'communal ideotype'); (2) group-level selection for yield; and (3) exploiting naturally selected cooperation. The first two strategies, using artificial selection, have been successful in the past but suffer from limitations that could hinder future progress. Instead, I propose an alternative strategy and a new 'colonial ideotype' that exploits past natural selection for cooperation among the modules (e.g., branches or stems) of individual plants. More generally, I suggest that Hamiltonian agriculture-a kin selection view of agriculture and plant breeding-transforms our understanding of how to improve crops of the future.

RevDate: 2022-12-22
CmpDate: 2022-10-20

Barreto Filho MM, Vieira HH, Morris JJ, et al (2022)

Species-specific effects and the ecological role of programmed cell death in the microalgae Ankistrodesmus (Sphaeropleales, Selenastraceae).

Biology letters, 18(10):20220259.

Reports of programmed cell death (PCD) in phytoplankton raise questions about the ecological evolutionary role of cell death in these organisms. We induced PCD by nitrogen deprivation and unregulated cell death (non-PCD) in one strain of the green microalga Ankistrodesmus densus and investigated the effects of the cell death supernatants on phylogenetically related co-occurring organisms using growth rates and maximum biomass as proxies of fitness. PCD-released materials from A. densus CCMA-UFSCar-3 significantly increased growth rates of two conspecific strains compared to healthy culture (HC) supernatants and improved the maximum biomass of all A. densus strains compared to related species. Although growth rates of non-A. densus with PCD supernatants were not statistically different from HC treatment, biomass gain was significantly reduced. Thus, the organic substances released by PCD, possibly nitrogenous compounds, could promote conspecific growth. These results support the argument that PCD may differentiate species or subtypes and increases inclusive fitness in this model unicellular chlorophyte. Further research, however, is needed to identify the responsible molecules and how they interact with cells to provide the PCD benefits.

RevDate: 2022-10-20
CmpDate: 2022-10-19

Khadraoui M, Merritt JR, Hoekstra HE, et al (2022)

Post-mating parental behavior trajectories differ across four species of deer mice.

PloS one, 17(10):e0276052.

Among species, parental behaviors vary in their magnitude, onset relative to reproduction, and sexual dimorphism. In deer mice (genus Peromyscus), while most species are promiscuous with low paternal care, monogamy and biparental care have evolved at least twice under different ecological conditions. Here, in a common laboratory setting, we monitored parental behaviors of males and females of two promiscuous (eastern deer mouse P. maniculatus and white-footed mouse P. leucopus) and two monogamous (oldfield mouse P. polionotus and California mouse P. californicus) species from before mating to after giving birth. In the promiscuous species, females showed parental behaviors largely after parturition, while males showed little parental care. In contrast, both sexes of monogamous species performed parental behaviors. However, while oldfield mice began to display parental behaviors before mating, California mice showed robust parental care behaviors only postpartum. These different parental-care trajectories in the two monogamous species align with their socioecology. Oldfield mice have overlapping home ranges with relatives, so infants they encounter, even if not their own, are likely to be closely related. By contrast, California mice disperse longer distances into exclusive territories with possibly unrelated neighbors, decreasing the inclusive fitness benefits of caring for unfamiliar pups before parenthood. Together, we find that patterns of parental behaviors in Peromyscus are consistent with predictions from inclusive fitness theory.

RevDate: 2022-12-23
CmpDate: 2022-12-22

Liu Y, Huang R, Chen Y, et al (2022)

Involvement of Flagellin in Kin Recognition between Bacillus velezensis Strains.

mSystems, 7(6):e0077822.

Kin discrimination in nature is an effective way for bacteria to stabilize population cooperation and maintain progeny benefits. However, so far, the research on kin discrimination for Bacillus still has concentrated on "attack and defense" between cells and diffusion-dependent molecular signals of quorum sensing, kin recognition in Bacillus, however, has not been reported. To determine whether flagellar is involve in the kin recognition of Bacillus, we constructed Bacillus velezensis SQR9 assembled with flagellin of its kin and non-kin strains, and performed a swarm boundary assay with SQR9, then analyzed sequence variation of flagellin and other flagellar structural proteins in B. velezensis genus. Our results showed that SQR9 assembled with flagellin of non-kin strains was more likely to form a border phenotype with wild-type strain SQR9 in swarm assay than that of kin strains, and that non-kin strains had greater variation in flagellin than kin strains. In B. velezensis, these variations in flagellin were prevalent and had evolved significantly faster than other flagellar structural proteins. Therefore, we proposed that flagellin is an effective tool partly involved in the kin recognition of B. velezensis strains. IMPORTANCE Kin selection plays an important role in stabilizing population cooperation and maintaining the progeny benefits for bacteria in nature. However, to date, the role of flagellin in kin recognition in Bacillus has not been reported. By using rhizospheric Bacillus velezensis SQR9, we accomplished flagellin region interchange among its related strains, and show that flagellin acts as a mediator to distinguish kin from non-kin in B. velezensis. We demonstrated the polymorphism of flagellin in B. velezensis through alignment analysis of flagellin protein sequences. Therefore, it was proposed that flagellin was likely to be an effective tool for mediating kin recognition in B. velezensis.

RevDate: 2022-12-22
CmpDate: 2022-10-06

García-Ruiz I, M Taborsky (2022)

Group augmentation on trial: helpers in small groups enhance antipredator defence of eggs.

Biology letters, 18(10):20220170.

Mechanisms selecting for the evolution of cooperative breeding are hotly debated. While kin selection theory has been the central paradigm to explain the seemingly altruistic behaviour of non-reproducing helpers, it is increasingly recognized that direct fitness benefits may be highly relevant. The group augmentation hypothesis proposes that alloparental care may evolve to enhance group size when larger groups yield increased survival and/or reproductive success. However, there is a lack of empirical tests. Here we use the cooperatively breeding cichlid fish Neolamprologus pulcher, in which group size predicts survival and group stability, to test this hypothesis experimentally by prompting two cooperative tasks: defence against an egg predator and digging out sand from the breeding shelter. We controlled for alternative mechanisms such as kin selection, load lightening and coercion. As predicted by the group augmentation hypothesis, helpers increased defence against an egg predator in small compared with large groups. This difference was only evident in large helpers owing to size-specific task specialization. Furthermore, helpers showed more digging effort in the breeding chamber compared with alternative personal shelters, indicating that digging is an altruistic service to the dominant breeders.

RevDate: 2022-10-27
CmpDate: 2022-10-05

Scott TJ (2022)

Cooperation loci are more pleiotropic than private loci in the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119(41):e2214827119.

Pleiotropy may affect the maintenance of cooperation by limiting cheater mutants if such mutants lose other important traits. If pleiotropy limits cheaters, selection may favor cooperation loci that are more pleiotropic. However, the same should not be true for private loci with functions unrelated to cooperation. Pleiotropy in cooperative loci has mostly been studied with single loci and has not been measured on a wide scale or compared to a suitable set of control loci with private functions. I remedy this gap by comparing genomic measures of pleiotropy in previously identified cooperative and private loci in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. I found that cooperative loci in P. aeruginosa tended to be more pleiotropic than private loci according to the number of protein-protein interactions, the number of gene ontology terms, and gene expression specificity. These results show that pleiotropy may be a general way to limit cheating and that cooperation may shape pleiotropy in the genome.

RevDate: 2023-05-19
CmpDate: 2022-10-05

Grebe NM, Hirwa JP, Stoinski TS, et al (2022)

Mountain gorillas maintain strong affiliative biases for maternal siblings despite high male reproductive skew and extensive exposure to paternal kin.

eLife, 11:.

Evolutionary theories predict that sibling relationships will reflect a complex balance of cooperative and competitive dynamics. In most mammals, dispersal and death patterns mean that sibling relationships occur in a relatively narrow window during development and/or only with same-sex individuals. Besides humans, one notable exception is mountain gorillas, in which non-sex-biased dispersal, relatively stable group composition, and the long reproductive tenures of alpha males mean that animals routinely reside with both maternally and paternally related siblings, of the same and opposite sex, throughout their lives. Using nearly 40,000 hr of behavioral data collected over 14 years on 699 sibling and 1235 non-sibling pairs of wild mountain gorillas, we demonstrate that individuals have strong affiliative preferences for full and maternal siblings over paternal siblings or unrelated animals, consistent with an inability to discriminate paternal kin. Intriguingly, however, aggression data imply the opposite. Aggression rates were statistically indistinguishable among all types of dyads except one: in mixed-sex dyads, non-siblings engaged in substantially more aggression than siblings of any type. This pattern suggests mountain gorillas may be capable of distinguishing paternal kin but nonetheless choose not to affiliate with them over non-kin. We observe a preference for maternal kin in a species with a high reproductive skew (i.e. high relatedness certainty), even though low reproductive skew (i.e. low relatedness certainty) is believed to underlie such biases in other non-human primates. Our results call into question reasons for strong maternal kin biases when paternal kin are identifiable, familiar, and similarly likely to be long-term groupmates, and they may also suggest behavioral mismatches at play during a transitional period in mountain gorilla society.

RevDate: 2022-09-21

Kulich HR, Bass SR, Piva SR, et al (2022)

Preliminary feasibility and acute physiological effects of a single session of upper limb vibration training for persons with spinal cord injury.

The journal of spinal cord medicine [Epub ahead of print].

CONTEXT: Strong upper limb musculature is essential for persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) to operate a manual wheelchair and live independently. Targeted upper limb vibration may be a viable exercise modality to build muscle efficiently while eliminating some of the barriers associated with exercise for persons with SCI.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to assess preliminary feasibility of completing a single exercise session of upper limb vibration and compare the acute physiological effects to a single session of standard dumbbell resistance exercise.

METHODS: Individuals with SCI performed seven upper limb exercises (1) isometrically using a vibrating dumbbell at 30 Hz for 60 s (n = 22) and (2) using a standard isotonic resistance protocol (n = 15).

RESULTS: Nineteen (86.4%) of 22 participants were able to perform all vibration exercises at 30 Hz but hold time success rates varied from 33% (side flies and front raises) to 95% (internal rotation). No significant differences were found between vibration exercise and standard resistance protocol for blood lactate, power output, and heart rate (P > 0.05). Perceptions of the training were positive, with most participants (>70%) expressing interest to train with vibration in the future.

CONCLUSIONS: Vibration training was not feasible for all participants, suggesting an individualized approach to starting weight and progression may be necessary. Similar acute physiological changes were seen between vibration exercise and standard resistance protocol, suggesting they could have similar benefits. Additional research is needed to determine if vibration exercise is feasible and beneficial to incorporate into a long-term training program.

RevDate: 2022-11-19
CmpDate: 2022-09-19

Simpson CR (2022)

Social Support and Network Formation in a Small-Scale Horticulturalist Population.

Scientific data, 9(1):570.

Evolutionary studies of cooperation in traditional human societies suggest that helping family and responding in kind when helped are the primary mechanisms for informally distributing resources vital to day-to-day survival (e.g., food, knowledge, money, childcare). However, these studies generally rely on forms of regression analysis that disregard complex interdependences between aid, resulting in the implicit assumption that kinship and reciprocity drive the emergence of entire networks of supportive social bonds. Here I evaluate this assumption using individual-oriented simulations of network formation (i.e., Stochastic Actor-Oriented Models). Specifically, I test standard predictions of cooperation derived from the evolutionary theories of kin selection and reciprocal altruism alongside well-established sociological predictions around the self-organisation of asymmetric relationships. Simulations are calibrated to exceptional public data on genetic relatedness and the provision of tangible aid amongst all 108 adult residents of a village of indigenous horticulturalists in Nicaragua (11,556 ordered dyads). Results indicate that relatedness and reciprocity are markedly less important to whom one helps compared to the supra-dyadic arrangement of the tangible aid network itself.

RevDate: 2023-01-20
CmpDate: 2022-12-01

Cenzer M, LK M'Gonigle (2022)

Co-evolution of dormancy and dispersal in spatially autocorrelated landscapes.

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution, 76(11):2769-2777.

The evolution of dispersal can be driven by spatial processes, such as landscape structure, and temporal processes, such as disturbance. Dormancy, or dispersal in time, is generally thought to evolve in response to temporal processes. In spite of broad empirical and theoretical evidence of trade-offs between dispersal and dormancy, we lack evidence that spatial structure can drive the evolution of dormancy. Here, we develop a simulation-based model of the joint evolution of dispersal and dormancy in spatially heterogeneous landscapes. We show that dormancy and dispersal are each favored under different landscape conditions, but not simultaneously under any of the conditions we tested. We further show that, when dispersal distances are short, dormancy can evolve directly in response to landscape structure. In this case, selection is primarily driven by benefits associated with avoiding kin competition. Our results are similar in both highly simplified and realistically complex landscapes.

RevDate: 2022-09-12
CmpDate: 2022-09-09

Ibrahim AM (2022)

The conditional defector strategies can violate the most crucial supporting mechanisms of cooperation.

Scientific reports, 12(1):15157.

Cooperation is essential for all domains of life. Yet, ironically, it is intrinsically vulnerable to exploitation by cheats. Hence, an explanatory necessity spurs many evolutionary biologists to search for mechanisms that could support cooperation. In general, cooperation can emerge and be maintained when cooperators are sufficiently interacting with themselves. This communication provides a kind of assortment and reciprocity. The most crucial and common mechanisms to achieve that task are kin selection, spatial structure, and enforcement (punishment). Here, we used agent-based simulation models to investigate these pivotal mechanisms against conditional defector strategies. We concluded that the latter could easily violate the former and take over the population. This surprising outcome may urge us to rethink the evolution of cooperation, as it illustrates that maintaining cooperation may be more difficult than previously thought. Moreover, empirical applications may support these theoretical findings, such as invading the cooperator population of pathogens by genetically engineered conditional defectors, which could be a potential therapy for many incurable diseases.

RevDate: 2022-09-07

Fan Y, Zhang R, Zhang Y, et al (2022)

The effects of genetic distance, nutrient conditions, and recognition ways on outcomes of kin recognition in Glechoma longituba.

Frontiers in plant science, 13:950758.

Kin recognition might help plants decrease competitive cost and improve inclusive fitness with close genes; thus it might interact with environmental factors to affect communities. Whether and how various factors, such as the genetic distance of neighbors, environmental stressors, or the way a plant recognizes its neighbors, might modify plant growth strategies remains unclear. To answer these questions, we conducted experiments in which ramets of a clonal plant, Glechoma longituba, were grown adjacent to different genetically related neighbors (clone kin / close kin / distant kin) in different nutrient conditions (high / medium / low), or with only root exudates from pre-treatment in culture solution. By comparing competitive traits, we found that: (1) kin recognition in G. longituba was enhanced with closer genetic distance; (2) the outcomes of kin recognition were influenced by the extent of nutrient shortage; (3) kin recognition helped to alleviate the nutrient shortage effect; (4) kin recognition via root exudates affected only below-ground growth. Our results provide new insights on the potential for manipulating the outcome of kin recognition by altering neighbor genetic distance, nutrient conditions and recognition ways. Moreover, kin recognition can help plants mitigate the effects of nutrient shortage, with potential implications in agricultural research.

RevDate: 2022-09-07

Li H, Tan Y, D Zhang (2022)

Genomic discovery and structural dissection of a novel type of polymorphic toxin system in gram-positive bacteria.

Computational and structural biotechnology journal, 20:4517-4531.

Bacteria have developed several molecular conflict systems to facilitate kin recognition and non-kin competition to gain advantages in the acquisition of growth niches and of limited resources. One such example is a large class of so-called polymorphic toxin systems (PTSs), which comprise a variety of the toxin proteins secreted via T2SS, T5SS, T6SS, T7SS and many others. These systems are highly divergent in terms of sequence/structure, domain architecture, toxin-immunity association, and organization of the toxin loci, which makes it difficult to identify and characterize novel systems using traditional experimental and bioinformatic strategies. In recent years, we have been developing and utilizing unique genome-mining strategies and pipelines, based on the organizational principles of both domain architectures and genomic loci of PTSs, for an effective and comprehensive discovery of novel PTSs, dissection of their components, and prediction of their structures and functions. In this study, we present our systematic discovery of a new type of PTS (S8-PTS) in several gram-positive bacteria. We show that the S8-PTS contains three components: a peptidase of the S8 family (subtilases), a polymorphic toxin, and an immunity protein. We delineated the typical organization of these polymorphic toxins, in which a N-terminal signal peptide is followed by a potential receptor binding domain, BetaH, and one of 16 toxin domains. We classified each toxin domain by the distinct superfamily to which it belongs, identifying nine BECR ribonucleases, one Restriction Endonuclease, one HNH nuclease, two novel toxin domains homologous to the VOC enzymes, one toxin domain with the Frataxin-like fold, and several other unique toxin families such as Ntox33 and HicA. Accordingly, we identified 20 immunity families and classified them into different classes of folds. Further, we show that the S8-PTS-associated peptidases are analogous to many other processing peptidases found in T5SS, T7SS, T9SS, and many proprotein-processing peptidases, indicating that they function to release the toxin domains during secretion. The S8-PTSs are mostly found in animal and plant-associated bacteria, including many pathogens. We propose S8-PTSs will facilitate the competition of these bacteria with other microbes or contribute to the pathogen-host interactions.

RevDate: 2022-08-30

Salem AAMS, Abdelsattar M, Abu Al-Diyar M, et al (2022)

Altruistic behaviors and cooperation among gifted adolescents.

Frontiers in psychology, 13:945766.

The present study is a differential study that describes the nature of the relationship between cooperation and altruistic behavior in a sample of gifted adolescents in three universities in Egypt and Kuwait University. It also identified the differences between males/females, and senior students/junior students in both cooperation and altruism. A total of 237 gifted adolescents-with average age 21.3 ± SD 2.6 years-from three Egyptian universities: Alexandria University, Sadat Academy for Management Sciences, and Suez University (in Egypt), and Kuwait University, were involved in this study. Measures used in the study include the Scales for Rating the Behavioral Characteristics of Superior Students (SRBCSS), Generative Altruism Scale (GAlS), and The Cooperative/Competitive Strategy Scale (CCSS). Results revealed that there is a significant positive relationship between altruism and cooperation among gifted adolescents. Also, findings show that there are statistically significant differences between males and females in both altruism and cooperation. In addition, there are differences statistically significant between senior students and junior students in both altruism and cooperation in favor of senior students. It is recommended that altruism and cooperation intervention-based programs should be designed to increase the adaptive behaviors of adolescents.

RevDate: 2022-10-28
CmpDate: 2022-08-25

Helle S, Tanskanen AO, Pettay JE, et al (2022)

The interplay of grandparental investment according to the survival status of other grandparent types.

Scientific reports, 12(1):14390.

Inclusive fitness theory predicts that grandparental investment in grandchildren aims to maximise their inclusive fitness. Owing to an increasing overlap between successive generations in modern affluent populations, the importance of grandparental investment remains high. Despite the growing literature, there is limited knowledge regarding how the survival status of different grandparent types influences each other's investment in grandchildren. This question was studied by using the Involved Grandparenting and Child Well-Being Survey, which provided nationally representative data of English and Welsh adolescents aged 11-16-years. We applied Bayesian structural equation modeling (BSEM) where grandparental investment in grandchildren was modelled using multi-indicator unobserved latent variable. Our results showed that maternal grandmothers' investment was increased by having a living maternal grandfather but not vice versa. Having a living maternal grandmother was also associated with decreased investment of paternal grandparents while the opposite was not found. These findings indicate that the association between the survival status of other grandparents and the focal grandparents' investment varies between grandparent types.

RevDate: 2022-11-02
CmpDate: 2022-11-01

Grof-Tisza P, Kruizenga N, Tervahauta AI, et al (2022)

Volatile-Mediated Induced and Passively Acquired Resistance in Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata).

Journal of chemical ecology, 48(9-10):730-745.

Plants produce a diversity of secondary metabolites including volatile organic compounds. Some species show discrete variation in these volatile compounds such that individuals within a population can be grouped into distinct chemotypes. A few studies reported that volatile-mediated induced resistance is more effective between plants belonging to the same chemotype and that chemotypes are heritable. The authors concluded that the ability of plants to differentially respond to cues from related individuals that share the same chemotype is a form of kin recognition. These studies assumed plants were actively responding but did not test the mechanism of resistance. A similar result was possible through the passive adsorption and reemission of repellent or toxic VOCs by plants exposed to damage-induced plant volatiles (DIPVs). Here we conducted exposure experiments with five chemotypes of sagebrush in growth chambers; undamaged receiver plants were exposed to either filtered air or DIPVs from mechanically wounded branches. Receiver plants exposed to DIPVs experienced less herbivore damage, which was correlated with increased expression of genes involved in plant defense as well as increased emission of repellent VOCs. Plants belonging to two of the five chemotypes exhibited stronger resistance when exposed to DIPVs from plants of the same chemotypes compared to when DIPVs were from plants of a different chemotype. Moreover, some plants passively absorbed DIPVs and reemitted them, potentially conferring associational resistance. These findings support previous work demonstrating that sagebrush plants actively responded to alarm cues and that the strength of their response was dependent on the chemotypes of the plants involved. This study provides further support for kin recognition in plants but also identified volatile-mediated associational resistance as a passively acquired additional defense mechanism in sagebrush.

RevDate: 2022-09-13
CmpDate: 2022-09-13

Berman CM (2022)

Monkey business: A girl's once strange dream.

Primates; journal of primatology, 63(5):463-481.

For close to 50 years, my research has focused on social relationships and social structure, particularly in macaques, and has been marked by a gradual broadening of scope. Supported by open-minded parents, I followed a once unconventional path into field primatology largely by ignoring distinct gender-based ideas about appropriate occupations for women that were prevalent when I was a child. Later, as Robert Hinde's PhD advisee, I benefited enormously from his mentoring and from the transformative experience he provided. I began by examining infant social development in free-ranging rhesus monkeys and the integration of infants into the kinship and dominance structures of their groups. I gradually branched out to look at (1) kinship and dominance in additional age classes and macaque species, (2) additional aspects of social structure (reciprocity, agonistic support, tolerance, cooperation, conflict management), (3) mechanisms and organizing principles (e.g., attraction to kin and high rank, intergenerational transmission, demography, reciprocity, social style, time constraints) and (4) evolutionary underpinnings of social relationships and structure (e.g., parental investment, kin selection, socioecology, phylogeny, biological markets). For much of this journey, I have been accompanied by talented PhD students who have enriched my experience and whom I am now proud to call colleagues and friends. It is gratifying to realize that my career choice is no longer considered as unconventional as it once was.


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

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