Our EPP undergraduates proudly presenting their EUReCA awards

Three Students Working in EPP Win at EUReCA Competition!

Congratulations to all the Herbert winners at the Exhibit of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement. Forty three students presented 31 projects at the fair. Three students working in EPP were winners at the competition. Marlo Black, an Animal Science major, won the EUReCA Gold Medal for her work, “A Survey of Domestic Hosts of Cimex lectularius in an Urban Setting.” She was also the first place winner in the Herbert College of Agriculture competition. Her mentors were Dr. Karen Vail and Dr. Becky Trout Fryxell in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. Two students who were in the Herbert College competition of EUReCA won the 3-minute to Win It Video contest. Leah Dunlap (Plant Science) won the juried competition…

Closeup of the head to Solenopsis geminata (fire ant)

Joint Evolution of Asexuality and Queen Number in an Ant

A recent paper in Current Biology by DeWayne Shoemaker and colleagues from the University of Georgia describes a socially polymorphic population of the tropical fire ant, Solenopsis geminata, in which multi-queen colonies produce queens asexually but produce workers sexually via matings with males from the sexually reproducing single-queen social form. Two distinct asexual lineages from multi-queen colonies likely originated from the same sexual single-queen population. Multiple asexual/polygyne genomes are transmitted undiluted in this system, but sterile workers produced with sperm from a sexually-reproducing/monogyne population are necessary for the persistence of these lineages. The intersection of social polymorphism, facultative asexuality, and genetic caste determination marks this population of S. geminata as an embodiment of the diversity of ant reproductive systems and suggests previously…