Social apoptosis in honey bee superorganisms

Show simple item record Page, Paul Lin, Zheguang Buawangpong, Ninat Zheng, Huoqing Hu, Fuliang Neumann, Peter Chantawannakul, Panuwan Dietemann, Vincent 2016-07-07T06:33:23Z 2016-07-07T06:33:23Z 2016-06-06
dc.description.abstract Eusocial insect colonies form superorganisms, in which nestmates cooperate and use social immunity to combat parasites. However, social immunity may fail in case of emerging diseases. This is the case for the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, which switched hosts from the Eastern honeybee, Apis cerana, to the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, and currently is the greatest threat to A. mellifera apiculture globally. Here, we show that immature workers of the mite’s original host, A. cerana, are more susceptible to V. destructor infestations than those of its new host, thereby enabling more efficient social immunity and contributing to colony survival. This counterintuitive result shows that susceptible individuals can foster superorganism survival, offering empirical support to theoretical arguments about the adaptive value of worker suicide in social insects. Altruistic suicide of immature bees constitutes a social analogue of apoptosis, as it prevents the spread of infections by sacrificing parts of the whole organism, and unveils a novel form of transgenerational social immunity in honey bees. Taking into account the key role of susceptible immature bees in social immunity will improve breeding efforts to mitigate the unsustainably high colony losses of Western honey bees due to V. destructor infestations worldwide. en_ZA
dc.description.department Zoology and Entomology en_ZA
dc.description.librarian am2016 en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship A Swiss National Science Foundation grant to V.D. and P.N. (31003A_147363), by the Vinetum Foundation to P.N., by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities to H.Z. and by Thailand Research Fund (BRG 5580013) to P.C. and by the Earmarked Fund for Modern Agro-industry Technology Research System from the Ministry of Agriculture of China (CARS-45) to F.H. en_ZA
dc.description.uri en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Page, P., Lin, Z., Buawangpong, N., Zheng, H., Hu, F., Neumann, P., Chantawannakul, P. & Dietemann, V. Social apoptosis in honey bee superorganisms. Scientific Reports. 6, 27210; DOI: 10.1038/srep27210 (2016). en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 2045-2322
dc.identifier.other 10.1038/srep27210
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Nature Publishing Group en_ZA
dc.rights © 2016 [Author et al] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0. en_ZA
dc.subject Varroa destructor en_ZA
dc.subject Apoptosis en_ZA
dc.subject Infections en_ZA
dc.subject Honeybee (Apis mellifera) en_ZA
dc.title Social apoptosis in honey bee superorganisms en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA

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