Tuesday, 1 August 2006: 1:30 PM-6:00 PM
Empire (Omni Shoreham Hotel)
Symposium 11: The immune system of social insects: challenges of a colonial life
Disease and parasites are ubiquitous in an organism’s life. To protect against these invaders, nature has repeatedly evolved immune systems, systems that can identify nonself and react against them. There is a large body of work, both theoretical and experimental, which studies the mechanisms and outcomes of this constant struggle. The defining feature of social insects is their colonial lifestyle: living in colonies of closely related individuals poses special problems and opportunities for the immune system. The purpose of this symposium is to explore these issues placing them at the very centre of social insect biology. The results should be of widespread interest as reflecting the importance of pathogens and life pattern, and increase our knowledge of insect immune systems, potentially enabling circumvention of pest defenses and better protection of beneficial species.
Organizer:Sylvia Cremer
1:30 PMAncient use of bacteria for antibiotic-production in fungus-growing ants
Michael Poulsen, Cameron R. Currie
1:50 PMThe immune cost of sex and sperm storage in a leaf-cutting ant
Sophie A. O. Armitage, Boris C. Baer, Jacobus J. Boomsma
2:10 PMCaste and body size associated immune defence in Formica ants
Jouni Sorvari, Liisa M. Rantala, Markus J. Rantala, Harri Hakkarainen
2:30 PMReproductive conflicts affect labour and immune defenses in the queenless ant Diacamma sp. (Nilgiri, south India)
Aurélie Bocher, Claudie Doums, Laurence Millot, Claire Tirard
2:50 PMSelf-medicating ants
Michel Chapuisat, Grégoire Castella, Philippe Christe
3:10 PMBreak
3:40 PMGenetic diversity for disease resistance: an experimental test in an ant with variable queen number
Anabelle Reber, Grégoire Castella, Philippe Christe, Michel Chapuisat
4:00 PMInbreeding, immune defence and colony fitness in the wood ant Formica exsecta
Emma Vitikainen, Cathy Haag-Liautard, Laurent Keller, Liselotte Sundström
4:20 PMStrength in numbers? Parasites, immunity and group-living in bumble bees
Mark J.F. Brown, Mario X. Ruiz-Gonzalez, Michael Kelly, Yannick Moret
4:40 PMSocial transmission of immunity: nestmate interaction, the upregulation of immune proteins and the development of colony-level immunocompetence in the termite Zootermopsis angusticollis
Rebeca B. Rosengaus, Marielle Postava-Davignon, James F.A. Traniello
5:00 PMCounter responses to pathogens interfering with and resisting the termite immune response
Mark S. Bulmer, Rebeca B. Rosengaus, Ross H. Crozier
5:20 PMGenomic approaches to honey bee immunity and pathogenesis
Jay D. Evans, Yanping (Judy) Chen
5:40 PMMolecular evolution of transferrin in Polyrhachis ants
Angela J. Shuetrim, Simon KA Robson, Ross H. Crozier
Sponsor:Invited Symposia Presentations

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