Newly Deciphered Ant Genomes Offer Clues on Ant Social Life, Pest Control
An international team of scientists has decoded the genome of a persistent household pest -- the Argentine ant, an invasive species that is threatening native insects across the world. These findings could provide new insights on how embryos with the same genetic code develop into either queens or worker ants and may advance our understanding of invasion biology and pest control. Similar to bees, ants have sophisticated social structures. Queen ants typically have larger bodies, wings and fertile ovaries, and are responsible for reproduction in the colony. Worker ants are smaller, wingless and infertile, and are tasked with foraging for food and caring for the queen's offspring.
A better understanding of how larvae develop into queens or workers could support the development of new control methods that use more benign chemicals to limit the number of queens born in a colony, effectively sterilizing the population.
Source: Science News
General Manager - Staff Entomologist