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Grant number: 14/25857-4
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: November 01, 2015 - October 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Morphology of Recent Groups
Principal Investigator:Ana Maria Costa-Leonardo
Grantee:Ana Maria Costa-Leonardo
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers:Ives Haifig


Termites exhibit the most varied mechanisms of reproduction found within the social insects. The sexual reproduction is generally headed by the primary reproductives, derived from alates, which start a colony after swarming. The colony reproduction may be extended with the appearance of secondary reproductives, which are neotenic individuals generally derived from workers (ergatoids) or nymphs (nymphoids). A colony containing secondary reproductives may undergo inbreeding, which seems to be necessary for the production of some castes in lower termites. Within the higher termites (family Termitidae), the neotenic production is relatively common, but no study to date analyzed the populations derived from these individuals. The Neotropical termites Silvestritermes euamignathus and Nasutitermes aquilinus belong to Termitidae and develop, respectively, nymphoid and ergatoid secondary reproductives, and were chosen as models for this study. The present research aims to understand the influence of these reproductives in colonies of higher termites using genetic tools such as microsatellite markers and mitochondrial DNA. The genetic studies will contribute to: 1. clarify the mechanisms of reproduction in these species, principally in relation to the secondary reproduction; 2. determine the influence of neotenics in the structure of the colonies; 3. understand the evolutionary processes behind the tendency for producing nymphoid or ergatoid reproductives. Due to their high specificity, microsatellite markers need to be developed for each species. To date, the markers were already developed at the lab of Dr. Edward L. Vargo, at North Carolina State University, USA (FAPESP Process 2014/00720-6) for the termite S. euamignathus. For N. aquilinus, the markers are being developed in a post-doctoral project supported by FAPESP (Process No. 2012/23898-0) and this proposal aims to support this project. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
HAIFIG, IVES; VARGO, EDWARD L.; LABADIE, PAUL; COSTA-LEONARDO, ANA MARIA. Unrelated secondary reproductives in the neotropical termite Silvestritermes euamignathus (Isoptera: Termitidae). NATURWISSENSCHAFTEN, v. 103, n. 1-2, . (14/25857-4, 12/23898-0, 14/00720-6)
DA SILVA, IAGO BUENO; HAIFIG, IVES; VARGO, EDWARD L.; CASARIN, FABIANA ELAINE; DA MOTA, MARCELO LUIZ; LIMA, JULIANA TOLEDO; COSTA-LEONARDO, ANA MARIA. Ergatoid reproductives in the Neotropical termite Nasutitermes aquilinus (Holmgren) (Blattaria: Isoptera: Termitidae): developmental origin, fecundity, and genetics. Insect Science, v. 27, n. 6, . (14/25857-4, 12/23898-0, 17/04525-1)

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